The Chicago Cubs fired manager Dale Sveum after finishing last in their division to miss the playoffs for the fifth-straight year.
Sveum, who was hired in November 2011 to replace Mike Quade when Theo Epstein took over as the team’s president of baseball operations, was dismissed today after Chicago finished its season with a 66-96 record, the Cubs said on their website.
“Today’s decision to pursue a new manager was not made because of wins and losses,” Epstein said in a statement. “Our record is a function of our long-term building plan and the moves we have made -- some good, a few we would like back -- to further this strategy.”
The Cubs’ playoff absence extended their championship drought to 105 years, the longest in Major League Baseball.
Sveum, 49, went 127-197 in his two seasons in Chicago, which marked his first full-time managerial job. His only previous experience was a 12-game interim stint with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008.
“We had hoped Dale would grow with our organization to see it through the building phase to a period of sustained excellence; instead, I believe Dale, who felt the weight of losing perhaps more than any of us, will grow because of this experience and find excellence elsewhere,” Epstein said.
The franchise is transitioning to a point where they’ll soon “promote many of our best prospects and actually field a very young, very talented club at the major-league level,” said Epstein, the general manager of the Boston Red Sox teams that won the World Series in 2004 and 2007.
The search process for a new manager will begin immediately and be completed before GM meetings in early November, if not much sooner, Epstein said.
“The losing has been hard on all of us, but we now have one of the top farm systems in baseball, some of the very best prospects in the game, and a clear path forward,” Epstein said. “I believe a dynamic new voice - and the energy, creativity and freshness that comes with this type of change - provides us with the best opportunity to achieve the major league environment we seek.”