MILWAUKEE Dale Sveum looks a little older now than he did the last time he returned to his former place of employment, his face dotted with salt-and-pepper stubble that appears to be turning more salt than pepper on this Monday, 120 games into his first season as manager of the Chicago Cubs.
He's experienced a handful of ups and myriad downs in his first season at the helm of one of baseball's most storied and tortured franchises. And at 47-73 this season, the Cubs' roster looks like a shell of what it did the first time he returned to Milwaukee, the city his baseball career is most connected to.
His comfort within the confines of Miller Park is obvious, a blue bat hanging rigid behind his back as he reminisces with former co-workers. At some moments, you'd swear he'd never left. But he's learned plenty since he was one of them, donning his Brewers uniform less than a year ago. As the head of baseball's third-youngest team now, he's taken a crash course in patience this season.