But Sveum said Monday that he has no intention to seek out advice from former Cubs managers on what he is getting into with his new job. And Baker said he probably wouldn’t give him the advice anyway.
No hard feelings, that’s just how it works with division rivals.
“I can’t tell him anything; we’re trying to beat him,” Baker said before his Reds faced the Cubs. “I like Dale but we’re still competitors, you know what I mean? The better they do the harder it will make it on us. I’ve got a red uniform on now, not a blue one. I wish Dale well, just not against us.”
Not that Sveum was asked about Baker’s comment, but he probably wouldn’t have it any other way.
“There is nothing I don’t know,” Sveum said. “Obviously we all know that it’s different. There’s more media, there’s more scrutinizing. There will be the second guessing of everything. It’s not like I have never been in, or played in a big market before. You know all that goes on. I was in Boston [coaching] for two years with [Terry] Francona so I saw it and know what goes on in those places.”
Baker still gets criticism to this day over his Cubs tenure. As for what fate awaits Sveum and when his new-manager honeymoon will end, it remains to be seen. For now, Sveum is operating on the theory that big markets are basically the same.
“It all depends on how they do,” Baker said. “You have to wait a while before you make that assessment. Give him a couple of years. He might say the same things … and he probably won’t.”
But it’s not only a new manager for the Cubs this year, it’s a new front office that has already started the process of stripping down the roster to build it back up again. That process seems to intrigue Baker more.
“From my experience, patience wasn’t a real virtue [in Chicago],” Baker said. “[The fans] have been patient for 100 years. That’s a hard sell in Chicago is more patience. They might be patient for a little while, but unlike any other place that I have been, they count. They can add real good in Chicago, men, women and children.”
Not that it was actual advice, but the most insight Baker seemed to have for Sveum is that his life will probably be different once his days as the Cubs manager are done.
“He’ll see. That’s all I can tell you,” Baker said. “I don’t wish to revisit that at all because I’m in a very good place in my life and the Cubs had a very positive effect on me and my family in a number of ways. There were some negative things there but there were a lot of positive things that came out of there for me and my family.
“There were a lot of things that happened that made me a better and stronger person, good or bad. I’m a much stronger person because of everything that has happened in my life, not only with the Cubs. Everywhere I’ve been and everything I have experienced led to me being how I am, where I am right now and the Cubs were a part of that.”