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Sveum runs out of closing options

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08:17 AM ET 05.28 | When he served as manager of a struggling Twins team, Tom Kelly made a fair point about the importance of a closer: "What do we need a closer for if we're going to win 40 games?" Then there's Dale Sveum, the roster-challenged manager of the Cubs, who faces a Kelly-like quandary with even fewer options. His latest closer, rookie Rafael Dolis, walked the bases loaded before hitting a batter to force in the winning run Saturday. By Sunday, he was pitching in middle relief. He walked the only two batters he faced. "What are our other options?" Sveum said. "What are you going to do?" This is where the mess that is this season -- this bullpen, in particular -- becomes an opportunity. James Russell and Shawn Camp have taken advantage.

Chicago Tribune

Dale Sveum, Icon Sports Dale Sveum, Icon Sports
Comment #1 has been removed
May 28, 2012  09:14 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Thanks to all who have served our country............

+1000

May 28, 2012  09:17 AM ET

About the Cubs...I actually agree with Tom Kelly...you have to have save opportunities to need a closer...in the midst of a 12 game losing streak I think its the offense that needs to be questioned

May 28, 2012  09:18 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

+1000

More like + 2 million who've given their all, and the millions more.

Who really gives a rats a-s-s who's closing for the Cubs? You have to actually have a lead to have a closer...

May 28, 2012  09:39 AM ET

Another great trade the Cubs made last winter trading their closer Marshal to the Reds for nothing back in return. Now you see fans why you haven't won a series in way before my time.

Comment #7 has been removed
Comment #8 has been removed
May 28, 2012  12:10 PM ET

This Cubbie organization is a joke top to bottom. They have way too many GMs. And they lie too much. They tell Cub fans they aren't rebuilding this year and they expect to compete. Compete for what?, the first pick in the draft? Theo also spouted off about the new Cubbie manual for the players telling them how to play baseball the right way. What BS! This team is playing so lackadaisical! Last night in the ninth inning. Jeff Baler hit a ball down the right field line and he nonchalantly jogs to first base carrying his bat expecting to be foul. Well, the ball was fair and he made second but if he had been hustling, he should have been at third. That's not acceptable on any major-league team. I blame their "don't care" play on manager Dale Sveum. His Greg House "I can't be bothered to shave" look and catering to washed up veterans like Soriano (who should be riding the pine (allowing younger players to learn and be evaluated for the future) send the wrong message to the team - that he doesn't care. Theo and Jed should have never traded their most consistent reliever last year, Sean Marshall. Why did they plan on Marmol closing again this year after he tied for the MLB lead in blown saves last year with 10. Why rely on Kerry Wood as a set up man when he had been on the DL list more times than Marmol walks batters? This lack of a decent reliever was self-inflicted by the new messiah, Theo Epstein. The Cubbies brought Starlin Castro up too early (Hendry's fault) and the kid can't learn how to take walks and his power number have been declining. Couple that with his poor defense and you can see the Cubbies are wasting someone who clearly has the talent to play better. The Cubbies traded Carlos Zambrano just to be rid of him. How is that working out? Do you think this Cubbie losing streak would have ever gotten past two Zambrano starts? Chris Volstad is 0 and 6 with a 7.46 ERA. Another stupid trade! Look at some of the other players Theo traded or released and you will see them playing pretty well. It's a good thing tourists and beer garden aficionados flock to Wrigley Field. Cubbie fans should be staying home in droves demanding a better product commensurate with the very high ticket prices they pay.

May 28, 2012  01:05 PM ET

Now I know what an alacran post would look like if he/she confined it to one submission.

May 28, 2012  01:08 PM ET

I don't understand why they ever took Marmol out of the closer role in the first place. Look, I know he's been terrible this year (and most of last year) but if you give him a chance to close some games again maybe he miraculously returns to form, or at least provides a halfway decent closing option. Then and only then will he have any trade value at the deadline. Cubs should've move him last offseason when they had suitors. Bad call Theo.

May 28, 2012  01:13 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

I don't understand why they ever took Marmol out of the closer role in the first place.

He was unable to close games. That is a problem when you are a closer. Too many sliders and way too many walks. In the past, his stuff was good enough to get him out of all the jams he created for himself. That no longer seems to be the case.

May 28, 2012  02:25 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

This Cubbie organization (blah blah blah, BS spoken by an angry, gender confused, middle aged, misanthrope) ticket prices they pay.

Ja hey der, the headline says closing options, not closet options, as in coming out of, so you are not eligible to comment on this subject, nancyboy.

May 28, 2012  02:25 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

I don't understand why they ever took Marmol out of the closer role in the first place. Look, I know he's been terrible this year (and most of last year) but if you give him a chance to close some games again maybe he miraculously returns to form, or at least provides a halfway decent closing option. Then and only then will he have any trade value at the deadline. Cubs should've move him last offseason when they had suitors. Bad call Theo.

What suitors did they have for Marmol?

May 28, 2012  11:04 PM ET

Nobody said the rebuilding process was going to be easy. But they have some nice young pieces in place and as they said on ESPN the other day, free agents will want to come there in a few years once they have some ridiculous contracts off the books. It might not look pretty right now but the Cuba will be competitive in a few years.

May 29, 2012  08:56 AM ET

It's a bridge (to nowhere) year for Theo and Dale.

May 29, 2012  09:56 AM ET

Mr. Policy I was only pointing out to you and all of the Cub fans that they traded away the best player they had in Marshal to take over the closer role. I really don't believe you really think Carlos is the man.

 
May 30, 2012  06:05 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Now I know what an alacran post would look like if he/she confined it to one submission.

Ja hey der, KenoshaMargie likes man posts.

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