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Dale Sveum Joins The Chicago Cubs, And Why You Really Shouldn't Care

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Dale Sveum, who for all the world seemed like the inevitable choice to take over as the next Red Sox manager before his lunch meeting with ownership Wednesday, has officially joined the Chicago Cubs.

So what?

Ripping the Red Sox for their failure to lock up Sveum seems to be the "in" thing to do today. Ken Rosenthal had his shot last night when it was first becoming clear that the former third base coach was likely Chicago-bound, complete with fried chicken references. Ironically, Rosenthal suggested the Sox should want to bring back the manager who lost control of the clubhouse to the point where that occured, but logic is overrated when compared to tired fall-backs like that.

I digress, though. What really gets me is that Rosenthal fails to answer the same question everyone else who's rushing to attack the Red Sox ignores: when did Dale Sveum become a future Hall of Famer?

I'm reminded of Michael Lewis' Moneyball, a book which, while it did a great deal to advance the conversation of statistics in the game--seems a bit ridiculous when you actually go back and read it these days. Lewis spends a great deal of time celebrating the victory of Billy Beane in his 2002 draft, when he picked up a bunch of players he felt were underrated by relying on statistics in conjunction with (and sometimes in place of) old-fashioned scouting. The problem is that now we can look back and see that, of the players he drafted, only Nick Swisher, Joe Blanton, and Mark Teahen have had any success at all. The guys who Beane thought were steals ended up being busts, and not even his "perfect world" list--disregarding money and draft order--is terribly impressive.

I'm not saying that Dale Sveum will be a disaster, but I am saying that the Sox missing out on him can't really be seen as a major loss. We don't even know if the team was interested after the second meeting. Maybe Sveum had a bad interview, or maybe he just wanted to stay close to his current location in Milwaukee. 

Either way, this isn't a major loss for the Sox or Ben Cherington. Sveum was unproven and, quite frankly, would have had his work cut out for him coming into a hostile Boston climate (again, his failures at third base are irrelevant, but not forgotten). If they have to interview a few more candidates, then that just means they weren't terribly impressed with the first bunch--it's better to get it done right then to get it done fast.

And if we're going to say "good enough for Theo should be good enough for Cherington," then we're really not giving him a chance to begin with.