Sveum keeps tabs on White Sox, other contenders

Sveum keeps tabs on White Sox, other contenders

CHICAGO -- The Cubs might be well out of the playoff picture, but that doesn't mean manager Dale Sveum isn't scoreboard watching.

Sveum was asked before Sunday's series finale against the Cardinals if he keeps tabs on the crosstown White Sox and fellow first-year manager Robin Ventura. Sveum said in the regular season's final weeks, he's a fan like everyone else.

"You're watching the scoreboard all the time to see what somebody's doing -- or not doing," Sveum said. "If we play a day game, you're like, 'Oh, I'm going to get home and watch that.' It's just part of the game now."

Of course, that intrigue is even more heightened this season with the additional Wild Card. The Cubs are playing a hand in the outcome with their three-game weekend series against the Cardinals, who entered Sunday with a 2 1/2-game lead over the Brewers and three-game cushion against the Dodgers.

Sveum said he's a fan of the new format.

"I think it's good for everybody to think, 'If we can just roll off 12 in a row, we're capable of doing it,' and keep fighting the last few weeks for that extra spot," Sveum said. "Fans, TV, I think it benefits everybody when you have that one last breath to make it. It's good for the game."

Some players have voiced displeasure over the one-game playoff for the two Wild Card teams. And while Sveum said a series would be more fair, he said the excitement surrounding the do-or-die Wild Card games will be undeniable.

"We'll all watch that one game, I know that," Sveum said. "In a five-game series you'll watch Game 3 or whatever, but you'll watch one game."