CHICAGO -- Theo Epstein is proud of the talent in the Chicago Cubs minor league system. Baker Mayfield Browns Jersey . The president of baseball operations thinks Dale Sveum is going to be a successful manager one day. He just doesnt think Sveum is the right guy to help all those prospects become successful major leaguers. The Cubs fired Sveum on Monday after finishing last in the NL Central for the first time in seven years, ending a two-year run that produced more losses than any other stretch in the teams cursed history. "Its absolutely imperative that we create the best environment possible for young players to come up here, continue to learn, continue to develop and thrive at the big league level and win, ultimately," Epstein said during an afternoon news conference. "And thats not an easy thing to do. "A big part of the reason why were here today is because we took a good hard look at that and we decided that we needed to try to get it right before they come up." Sveum was among Epsteins first hires after the executive came over from the Boston Red Sox in 2011. He had little experience as a manager when he agreed to take the job, and he knew the Cubs were at the very beginning of a top-to-bottom overhaul that they hoped would transform them into perennial contenders. He just thought he would get more time to make it work. "You come in and you get a job like this and you want to see it through and so youre very disappointed you didnt get to really get anything started," Sveum said in a parking lot outside Wrigley Field. Sveum, who had one year left on his contract, said he thought he was fine before Epstein said during Chicagos trip to Milwaukee in mid-September that the manager was being evaluated. "That was about when things got started," Sveum said. While praising Sveums time in Chicago and his growth with the Cubs, Epstein disputed the notion that the manager was blindsided by the move. He said Sveum had been aware of some concern in the front office for some time. "We met shortly after the All-Star break, a long meeting, a long, difficult, brutally honest meeting where we explained the areas where we felt like we needed to see improvement," Epstein said. "We told him, We are meeting with you because for the first time there are some concerns about whether youre the long-term guy and you deserve to hear that feedback from us and you deserve the second half of the season to work on those areas." Epstein said he also talked to Sveum before he made his comments in Milwaukee and let him know there were still discussions going on in the front office about whether he would be retained for next season. In the end, they decided to make a change. Chicago went 61-101 in Sveums first season, and then stumbled down the stretch in 2013 while some of its best players were traded away for prospects. The Cubs dropped 41 of their final 59 games, including six of their final seven, finishing with a 66-96 record. But it looks as if wins and losses were not a major factor in Sveums dismissal. Shortstop Starlin Castro and first baseman Anthony Rizzo, two key young players who have long-term contracts, each took a step back this year. Pitcher Jeff Samardzija also had an uneven season. Talented prospects such as Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, Albert Almora and Kris Bryant are on the way, and Epstein made it clear that providing the right atmosphere for those players was a key issue when it came to Sveums dismissal. "Not in all cases, there were some good results this year, some young players emerged, but there were other young players who didnt continue to develop this year," Epstein said. "Thats a collective issue, but its my responsibility to get it right." Sveum, who played a role in the development of sluggers Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun when he was a coach in Milwaukee, said he was looking forward to managing those prospects when they got to the majors. "Being here when all these players got here, thats the biggest disappointment, if anything," said Sveum, who isnt sure what hes going to do next season. "You didnt get a chance to see it through." Epstein said previous managing experience will be a point of emphasis in their search, and he plans to complete the process before the general manager meetings in early November. Sveums dismissal likely will ramp up speculation surrounding the status of Yankees manager Joe Girardi, a Peoria, Ill., native who played college ball at nearby Northwestern. The former Cubs catcher just completed the final season of his contract with New York, but he downplayed his connection to Chicago over the weekend. "Theres not as much there as there used to be," Girardi said. With the Cubs focusing on the future and dealing anyone with trade value in an effort to build the farm system, losses have been piling up at a staggering rate even for a franchise that last won a championship in 1908. The Cubs have dropped at least 91 games in three straight seasons for the first time, and they appear to be at least a year or two from making any jump in the win column. Despite those problems and Sveums short stint in charge, Epstein doesnt think he will have to sell the manager opening to any potential candidate. "We know exactly what were looking for and I think were going to find it," he said. Carlos Hyde Jersey . "I only want to go through this one more time," Crosby said Friday. The 24-year-old captain hasnt played since the symptoms resurfaced following a loss to Boston on Dec. 5. Doctors allowed him to return to full practice on Tuesday and while Crosby is pleased with the way his body is responding he refuses to put on his return. Zane Gonzalez Browns Jersey . More importantly, he is trying to show his young teammates the Colorado are still post-season contenders. He hopes winning a series at home was a fresh start. http://www.brownsrookiestore.com/Browns-Tyrod-Taylor-Jersey/ . They have homered once every 27.3 at bats, which just happens to be the third best mark in the American League, albeit just 10 games into the season.DUNEDIN, Florida – Surely, after Drew Hutchisons latest Grapefruit League performance, only injury or a couple of calamitous outings will keep him out of the Blue Jays starting rotation when camp breaks in a little over two weeks. Manager John Gibbons wasnt taking the bait on Friday afternoon following his clubs 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Red Sox. "When we put the team together, well announce it at the end," said Gibbons. "Nice try, though." Pressed further, Gibbons was only slightly more willing to share what everyone believes hes thinking about his 23-year-old right-hander. "Hes doing everything he needs to do," said Gibbons. "When the time comes, everybody will know." Hutchison pitched five innings on Friday with his only blemish coming in the fifth, when a Corey Brown double cashed in Jonny Gomes. He struck out seven Red Sox, didnt walk a batter, scattered four hits and threw 51 of his 71 pitches for strikes. Once again, Hutchison commanded the strike zone. Continuing the trend he set from the start of camp, Hutchisons fastball routinely clocked at 95 miles per hour. Surely the young hurler knows hes pitching his way onto the team. Regardless, he insists hes not looking ahead, his post-start dance with the media as seasoned as his stuff on the mound. "Stay in the moment," said Hutchison. "It doesnt do me any benefit to think ahead or think behind. You just focus on each pitch and continue to execute and perform." The Blue Jays love Hutchisons will to compete. Coaches say hes not satisfied with being a big leaguer. He wants more; he expects to be a staff ace one day. Hutchison displayed that mentality in a full count showdown with Red Sox slugger Mike Napoli to lead off the second inning. He lamented a two-strike change-up earlier in the at-bat. Napoli fouled it off. Hutchison felt he could have better gotten on top of the pitch. He went back to the fastball and, on the eighth pitch of the showdown, froze Napoli with a heater on the outside corner. He addressed the approach to Napoli. "When you get in that deep of a count, youve got to win that," said Hutchison. "It drives your pitch count up, so youve got to make sure you get him." If the Blue Jays are to contend in the American League East, the club needs at least one pitcher to step up and pleasantly surprise. Hutchison fits the bill, although he isnt shocked in the least by his successful spring. "No, Im not surprised," he said. "As far as everybody else, Im not really concerned about it. I prepared myself coming into camp to have a good camp and have a good year." HAPP FEELS "GOOD" J.A. Happ threw three scoreless innings in a minor league game on Friday. It marked his first appearance in more than a week with what the Blue Jays and Happ say inflammation in his back. "I felt good," said Happ. "It was good. Exciting. I felt normal out there, which is really nice." He threw 43 pitches, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out two. Happ was away from the Blue Jays for two days last Friday and Saturday. The Blue Jays say Happ was prescribed bed rest. Happ didnt want to miss any time. "I wasnt too far away," said Happ. "It was just something we need to take a step backward in order to go forward. We tried to take care of it with a few things and I think it definitely helped." What exactly was wrong? "Just some inflammation," said Happ. "We think there was something that was kind of pushing on the nerve that was sending some ddiscomfort my way for a little while. E.J. Gaines Jersey. We tried to ease that and I think weve taken a step in the right direction." The Blue Jays had a radar gun at Happs start. Happ said his fastball clocked 91-93 miles per hour. He hopes to build to 90 pitches by his final spring start. Happ didnt wish to address comments made last week by general manager Alex Anthopoulos that hes now competing for a spot in the starting rotation. "My comment is no comment," he said. "That was probably disappointing to hear but theres nothing I want to say about it." Manager John Gibbons has only one concern about Happ. "Weve got to make sure his back is healthy." DIAZ BACK "HOME" After one season with the Red Sox organization, infielder Jonathan Diaz is back where his career began. "It almost feels like I never left," he said. "It feels like home. I was here for so long and Im very familiar with a lot of the guys and the coaches, so it just feels like home." Diaz, 28, was a 12th-round pick of the Blue Jays in 2006. At 59" and 165 pounds, hes a smaller player known for his big glove. Often playing in the back end of Grapefruit League games, hes seemingly matched starter Jose Reyes big play for big play. It hast been an easy journey. Diaz was the final cut from Blue Jays camp in the spring of 2011. Playing at Triple-A Las Vegas, hed gotten off to the best offensive start of his career. In mid-May, he and his wife Kerry were in the backseat of a Vegas taxi. The driver ran a red light. The car was t-boned. Diaz suffered a concussion. Kerry had broken ribs, a separated shoulder and a lacerated spleen. Both were knocked unconscious and awoke in hospital. Diaz needed two months to recover from the symptoms. "It was hard focusing, disoriented and all that stuff," he said. "The funny thing was, when I started running, my eyes had a hard time adjusting and they would wobble." When he returned after the All-Star Break, Diaz was at Double-A New Hampshire. He would finish the season there. When Yunel Escobar went down in September, Diaz hoped for a call up and the chance to make his major league debut. It wasnt to be. Fast forward almost two years to June 29, 2013, the day Diaz first appeared in a big league game. It was Fenway Park. The Blue Jays were there, but he was wearing a Boston uniform. "It was just like, youre writing a story," said Diaz. "It kind of made me more comfortable because I knew a lot of guys on the other side. I knew what they did and I had a scouting report in my head already about all of the guys, so it made me more comfortable in my first game." Diaz appeared in only five games for the Red Sox, spending most of the season with Bostons top minor-league affiliate in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Still, hell be getting a World Series ring. "Its very special," he said. "I wish I would have played a little bit of a bigger part in the whole process, but its definitely something Im going to cherish for a long time." Just getting to the major leagues, when it appeared the taxi cab accident had taken away his chance, means more to Diaz now than he could ever have imagined. "I feel blessed enough to finally make it to the big leagues last year because sometimes the windows in this game are very small and it could have been my only window," he said. "Luckily, I got the opportunity last year with Boston. That took away a lot of the emotional stuff that I had from the accident that maybe Ill never make it again because of it." Cheap Nuggets Jerseys Cheap Timberwolves Jerseys Cheap Thunder Jerseys Cheap Blazers Jerseys Cheap Jazz Jerseys Cheap Warriors Jerseys Cheap Clippers Jerseys Cheap Lakers Jerseys Cheap Suns Jerseys Cheap Kings Jerseys Cheap Mavericks Jerseys Cheap Rockets Jerseys Cheap Grizzlies Jerseys Cheap Pelicans Jerseys Cheap Spurs Jerseys ' ' '