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Sveum set to make case to be Cubs' skipper

Sveum set to make case to be Cubs' skipper

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Sveum set to make case to be Cubs' skipper
CHICAGO -- Wrigley Field was where Dale Sveum made his debut as a big league manager and, on Monday, he'll get a chance to convince the Cubs' front office that he should be there full-time in the home dugout.

Sveum will meet with Theo Epstein, the Cubs' president of baseball operations, plus general manager Jed Hoyer and others to be interviewed for the managerial vacancy. The Cubs met Friday with Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin and have received permission to talk to Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux. That interview is delayed until Maddux can actually talk -- he's been battling laryngitis.

Sveum, who turns 48 on Nov. 23, has already talked to the Red Sox, interviewing in Boston last Wednesday. He was Boston's third-base coach in 2004-05, and faced criticism then for some baserunning decisions. Sveum acknowledged he heard the Boston fans, adding, "I don't want to say it was comical, but if you do the same thing in Milwaukee, there's nothing really said about it."

On Sept. 16, 2008, Sveum took over the Brewers for Ned Yost, who was dismissed after the Brewers opened the final month 3-11, threatening their chances to make the postseason as the National League Wild Card team. Milwaukee lost his debut, 5-4, to the Cubs, and lost the series, including a 12-inning, 7-6 defeat on Sept. 18. But Sveum got the Brewers back on track to win six of their final seven games and reach the playoffs.

"The players make the difference," Sveum said when he took over in 2008. "I'm not going to sit here and say that I can make any difference. They have to perform, and what I'm going to do is try to bring an ease to them. Let them go play and have fun. It's the time of their life right now."

The Cubs are looking for a boost after back-to-back fifth-place finishes in the National League Central.

Having gone through the interview process in Boston should help Sveum on Monday. Mackanin, 60, who also talked to the Red Sox about their managerial opening, said the two interviews were similar but different questions.

"It was very comprehensive," Mackanin said of the Cubs. "They didn't let me up for air -- they just keep pounding questions at you. It's very interesting and fun. It's great getting to know these guys and seeing what's on their minds. It's just a nice process to go through."

A first-round pick in 1982 by the Brewers, Sveum played 12 seasons in the big leagues, including five with Milwaukee. One of the bright spots of his career came Easter Sunday, April 19, 1987, when he hit a walk-off homer at County Stadium to lift the Brewers to a 6-4 victory over the Rangers for their 12th straight win. He finished with 25 homers that season.

But in 1988, he broke his leg in a collision with outfielder Darryl Hamilton and was never the same player.

After his brief time at the helm with Milwaukee in 2008, Sveum was passed over for the Brewers' job, and Ken Macha was named manager. Sveum was skipped again when Ron Roenicke was picked to take over in 2011. The Brewers' management said at the time it wanted someone with big league managing experience.

Epstein has said he wants someone who has managerial or coaching experience at the Major League level.

"Experience is one thing," Sveum said in Boston last week. "I've experienced a great deal. I've obviously experienced a lot of Major League managing. I've been around a lot in my career, been around a lot of great players, a lot of Hall of Famers, been very fortunate to play for Tony La Russa, Joe Torre, Lou Piniella, Jim Leyland, Gene Lamont, Tom Trebelhorn -- some great managers -- and got to learn a lot from them in different ways."

The Red Sox and Cubs are working off similar lists of candidates. Besides Maddux, Boston will interview Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr., who also was believed to be a possible candidate for the Cubs' job.

Part of the Cubs' interview process includes meeting with the media, and Sveum was expected to do so late Monday at Wrigley Field.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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