Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dale Sveum to be hitting coach in 2011, sources confirm

The Brewers don't have a new manager yet, but they do have a hitting coach.
Dale Sveum told Milwaukee's 1250-AM WSSP on Saturday that he had agreed to a two-year contract to return as hitting coach, a position he's held since the start of 2009. Sveum's status with the team was in limbo while he interviewed for the Pirates' managerial opening.
The Brewers confirmed Sveum's extension on Saturday night.
"I was informed last night by the Pirates that I won't be considered for their job, so that was a little disappointing," Sveum told the radio station. "But on the good side, I am coming back as the hitting instructor for the Brewers for the next two years. So that's good.
"I love Milwaukee, and hopefully we can get a manager in here pretty quick and can get that sealed and done and we can get back to playing some real aggressive-type baseball, the way our players really want to play -- get back to running the bases and doing some things."
That last comment was a bit of a critique of former Brewers manager Ken Macha, who took more of a station-to-station approach over the past two seasons and was formally let go on Oct. 4.
Sveum and Macha had an interesting relationship because they both interviewed for Milwaukee's managerial opening following the 2008 season. Sveum finished that year as the Brewers' interim manager but Macha got the full-time job. Sveum, who had previously served as the bench coach, agreed to stay on as hitting coach.
Sveum expressed interest in the managerial post again this fall but was not a candidate. Brewers general manager Doug Melvin is currently preparing for second interviews with four candidates.
The Brewers have yet to announce any of the 2011 coaching assignments, and probably will not do so until a new manager is named. But Sveum appears set for the next two years, and pitching coach Rick Peterson has a year left on his contract.
"We are glad to have Dale returning," Melvin said in a statement from the Brewers. "His work ethic and passion for the role he has with our hitters has not gone unnoticed. The managers we have interviewed also recognize what Dale has accomplished with our hitters."
Sveum, 46, has been on the coaching staff since 2006. He served as third-base coach ('06 and '08) and bench coach ('07) before he was named hitting coach on Nov. 4, 2008.
Brewers hitters ranked among the top five in the National League during the 2010 season in home runs (second, 182), slugging percentage (third, .424), runs (fourth, 750), batting average (fourth, .262), on-base percentage (fourth, .335) and walks (fifth, 546).

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