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“"I do my due diligence and video work and prepare as much as anybody," Sveum said. "As far as the stats, those are what they are, and we can use them to our advantage. It's a big part of the game now. It's helping us win a lot of ballgames, the stats and the matchups. That's just part of the game now, and you use what you can." Meanwhile, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington was headed out of the country, telling reporters before he left the general managers' meetings Thursday that the team's manager search would "take a little breather this weekend." The Red Sox have interviewed Alomar, Mackanin, Torey Lovullo and Gene Lamont. But the team confirmed Wednesday that Mackanin was no longer under consideration. "We're not dissatisfied with the candidates we have,'' Cherington said Wednesday. "We feel like these are unique circumstances here. ... We're very happy with the candidates. Our next manager could very well come from among those candidates, but we're not ruling out adding candidates." Sveum, a switch-hitting shortstop, played 12 seasons with the Brewers and six other teams. He had a 25-homer season before his career was slowed after an outfield collision. He did well in his limited run as Milwaukee's manager. After Yost was fired following a 3-11 slide in September, Sveum led the Brewers to their first playoff appearance in 26 years, winning six of seven down the stretch and capturing the wild card on the final day of the regular season. Milwaukee then decided to hire a more experienced manager in the offseason and went with Ken Macha, who lasted two seasons. Sveum stayed on as the hitting coach and oversaw one of the best offenses in the National League last season. With Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder leading the way, the Brewers hit an NL-high 185 homers and were third with a .261 batting average on their way to the NL Central title. The past two seasons have bottomed out for Chicago. Lou Piniella abruptly retired in August 2010 and while Quade stepped in and did well, the Cubs didn't respond this season. Zambrano was suspended late in the season after another outburst and is likely gone, even with a year left on his five-year, $91.5 million contract. There is a potential ace in Matt Garza and a promising young arm in Andrew Cashner. First baseman Carlos Pena, a free agent who hit 28 homers with 80 RBIs and a .225 average, would like to come back. Aramis Ramirez, who hit .306 with 26 homers and 93 RBIs, said he plans to explore the free-agent market, though there is a mutual $16 million option on the table. Soriano, who has three years remaining on his deal, batted .244 but hit 26 homers with 88 RBIs. Gordon Edes is a baseball writer for ESPNBoston.com. Information from ESPNChicago.com's Jon Greenberg, Bruce Levine and The Associated Press was used in this report.
He's the kind of guy who can talk to players, not be their best friend, but get to know them and what they're feeling.” -- John Grabow