CHICAGO – Cubs manager Dale Sveum is embracing the political side of his job and is starting to hit the campaign trail.
With Darwin Barney in the midst of a standout season defensively, Sveum has made it a point to get the word out to fellow managers and coaches, who are the voters for the Gold Glove Award.
“It's just when you’re taking in passing,” Sveum said, downplaying his role in trying to assist with Barney’s Gold Glove chances. “You try to do the best you can in those terms, but hopefully the actions on the field and obviously just the streak itself is impressionable enough.”
That “streak” the 116-consecutive errorless games Barney brought into Saturday’s contest against the San Francisco Giants. It’s the longest streak ever for a National League second baseman in a single season and is approaching the all-time record of 141 games by the Tigers’ Placido Polanco in 2007.
Barney won’t have an easy time unseating the Reds’ Brandon Phillips, who has won the Gold Glove at second base in the NL in each of the last two seasons and three of the last four.
Gold Glove turnover is hard to come by, which is why Sveum has taken to getting to word out. But even if Barney doesn’t win, Sveum knows that any recognition in postseason honors can mean a ton to players as they move forward.
“I would be just a great accomplishment for Barney to get the Gold Glove and for other people to win other things to at certain times,” Sveum said. “But it’s the players that have put themselves in the situations to win those awards and the hard work he’s put in. It’s just a great accomplishment for him and something nobody will ever be able to take away from him.”