It would be hard to picture Dale Sveum taking a sabbatical, sitting by the pool all summer and golfing in Arizona while collecting his final year of paychecks from the Cubs.
“I don’t like really sitting out. I’m a baseball guy and I love being around it,” said Sveum, standing in the Wrigley Field parking lot after getting fired this week. “These jobs are very hard to come by.
“You don’t want to get out of the game – unless you want to be away for a long time. I love baseball and love being a part of it.”
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The ex-manager resurfaced on Thursday when the Kansas City Royals hired Sveum for their 2014 coaching staff. That reunites Sveum with manager Ned Yost, who just received a two-year extension after an 86-76 season.
The Royals didn’t give Sveum a title yet, but said he will be in charge of infield instruction. They did not renew contracts with coaches Chino Cadahia (bench) and Eddie Rodriguez (third base).
Sveum worked with Yost for almost three full seasons on the Milwaukee Brewers staff. Sveum took over as interim manager when Yost was fired in September 2008, helping guide the Brewers to a 7-5 finish that clinched the wild card.
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Sveum went 127-197 in two seasons on the North Side, trying to develop young players, preparing veterans for trades and fronting for a massive organizational rebuild.
“You know you have the chance of losing quite a few games because you’re a little behind the eight-ball,” Sveum said. “It wears on you, but we knew going in it was going to be a process. We just weren’t able to pull it off to get to another level.”