It was manager Ned Yost, who wasted no time getting in contact with Sveum. The two had forged a relationship in Milwaukee, where Sveum worked under Yost as a third-base coach and bench coach from 2006-08.
"I just thought he was doing a tremendous job, and with two weeks to go when that rumor came out that his job might be in jeopardy, I'm like, 'OK, this is crazy right here, but if this happens, I've got a spot for him,'" Yost said. "So when I heard, it was the day after the season ended, and I had heard it, and I thought, 'I'm gonna give him some time,' then I thought, 'I ain't gonna give him no time.'"
Yost said that taking a year off after he was fired by the Brewers following the 2008 season was one of the best decisions he ever made, and he was wondering if Sveum might want to do the same. When Sveum said he had no desire to take time off, Yost made his pitch.
"I said, 'It's either going to be third-base coach or bench coach, but you know, if you want a job, I've got one for ya,'" Yost said. "And he said, 'I'm just walking out of this thing, give me a day or two to think about it' … and early the next morning he called and said, 'I want it.' I said, 'Fantastic.' So it's worked out very, very well for us."
Sveum says he harbors no ill feelings toward the Cubs. Now back in Chicago for the first time since he was let go, he said he would not have done anything differently and that he found the experience beneficial.
"It was a great experience. You wish them all the best, and things don't work out," Sveum said. "We all have these jobs to get fired someday, and there's not a lot of tenure for most people. It was a great experience in a great city. The best city in the country as far as I'm concerned. We all enjoy coming here all the time on the road and manage the Chicago Cubs and get that experience.
"Managing every day in the National League, obviously the game gets going a little bit in the seventh inning on. So you have all that under your belt that you've done it, and you've done it to the best to your ability. It's a great, great experience, and I'll always thank Theo [Epstein] and the Ricketts family for giving me the opportunity."