Sveum expecting success, effort from Cubs
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com | 01/14/12 9:01 PM EST
CHICAGO -- How will new Cubs manager Dale Sveum deal with a player who doesn't hustle or run out a ball?
"They're going to be held accountable," Sveum said. "It's not going to be OK. They won't be able to walk past me in the dugout."
Bench coach Jamie Quirk said he's heard from a few fans about lackadaisical play on past Cubs teams.
"It's not going to happen," Quirk said, forcefully.
Sveum has talked to several of the core players at length and also met some of the Cubs at a minicamp in Mesa, Ariz., in the first week of January. David DeJesus, Ian Stewart and Marlon Byrd were among the players who worked out with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo at that time.
Sveum said he was impressed at how quickly president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer filled their wish list. In two months, they added more depth to the starting pitching with Travis Wood, Chris Volstad and Paul Maholm, added future left-hander power with Anthony Rizzo and became more athletic with DeJesus and Stewart.
He also dismissed talk that the Cubs are rebuilding.
"The plan is to win right now," Sveum said. "The long-term plan starts right now. We're not rebuilding, we're building."
Rumors connecting the Cubs to free agent Prince Fielder wouldn't go away. A fan asked Sveum about the possibility the Brewers first baseman could be reunited with his former hitting coach.
"It's just not going to happen," Sveum said. "We have Bryan LaHair and Rizzo waiting in the wings."
Ricketts happy Wood staying with Cubs
CHICAGO -- Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said he talked to Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations, often during negotiations with Kerry Wood's agents.
"We talked about what was best for the organization and this is it," Ricketts said Saturday, one day after Wood signed a one-year, $3 million deal to stay with the Cubs.
Wood was considering other teams.
"In the end, it works out great," Ricketts said, "and this is what everybody wanted, every fan, everybody in the organization and also Kerry. He had a lot of offers. He could be in another city if that was his decision. From our standpoint, we're happy that he wants to stay with the Cubs."
Wood, 34, was drafted by the Cubs when he was 17 and has played all but two seasons -- 2009 and '10 -- with Chicago.
"I assume that going into the future, Kerry will always be part of the Cubs organization," Ricketts said.
Santo remembered at Convention session
CHICAGO -- At the Cubs Convention, Ron Santo's wife, Vicki, his son, Ron Santo Jr., and former teammates Randy Hundley, Glenn Beckert and Billy Williams talked about the late third baseman, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in December. The Grand Ballroom was standing room only for the session.
"I know right now he's enjoying it," Williams said of Santo, who died in December 2010. "He isn't clicking his heels -- he's pounding his fist."
All agreed they were sad that the news came after Santo had passed.
"Ronnie would've been happier than anybody who's ever been elected to the Hall of Fame," said WGN Radio's Pat Hughes, who was Santo's partner for 15 years and the master of ceremonies of the session.
Vicki Santo will deliver the speech in honor of her husband in the induction ceremonies at Cooperstown on July 22.
• DeJesus is the leading candidate to lead off for the Cubs but Sveum said he's considering using Tony Campana in certain matchups.
• During a question-and-answer session in which kids were the reporters, Campana was the star. Nearly every question was directed to the speedy outfielder, which prompted Reed Johnson to ask the kids if they did that because the 5-foot-8 Campana was the same size as they were. Campana, by the way, would have liked to have been an astronaut if he weren't playing baseball.
• New pitching coach Chris Bosio said he expects the pitchers to be prepared, dictate the tempo of the game and throw strikes. "We're going to turn Wrigley Field into a home-field advantage, hopefully like they've never seen before," he said.
• The Cubs have not asked for more night games but would like more flexibility with the schedule so they could have a late game on a Friday after a road trip, Ricketts said.