Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Chicago Cubs [Print without images]

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Sveum keeping clubhouse loose

By Bruce Levine

Dale Sveum
Dale Sveum has a good sense of humor, but he also stresses accountability.
MESA, Ariz. -- Fighting the boredom that seeps into a 39-game spring training schedule sometimes requires the tweaking of a creative clubhouse man.

Darwin Barney found the space around his locker taped off Wednesday, and among the warnings -- some written correctly -- on the tape was: " Do not enter."

"I don't know who did it," Barney said. "It looks like (Tom Hellmann's) hand writing. That might be my guess, plus he is not a great speller. Spelling area 'aer'? Come, on I didn't do that. I went to Oregon State. It's not like I went to (OSU rival) U-DUB (Washington).

"Teammates are definitely welcome (by the locker)."

Barney credits manager Dale Sveum with keeping a loose clubhouse.

"This is a reflection of Dale," Barney said. "He is easy going and has fun, but you better get your work done or you are going to know about it.

"I think that is pretty much what it is, you reflect off of your manager, and when you have a guy who is a good leader like him, hopefully we can all follow his lead."

Newcomer Nate Schierholtz has found the clubhouse atmosphere easy to work in so far.

"I couldn't be happier with the staff here," he said. "The way things are run on and off the field, everyone is very friendly.

"This is a very professional clubhouse. I like that they respect hard work and hustle. That is something that I definitely value."

Sveum does not sweat too many rules, except for being on time and paying close attention to instruction.

"You present spring training and preparation of work as to how important it is," Sveum said. "You watch and make sure everyone is accountable for the work they do each day. At the same time you try to keep it as fun and laid back as much as possible, too. It is a fine line between (that ) and the military approach."