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Cubs fire manager Dale Sveum 09.30.13 at 1:04 pm ET
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Following their last-place finish in the National League Central, including losses in 41 of their final 59 games, the Cubs on Monday announced the firing of manager Dale Sveum.

Sveum, a former Red Sox coach, finishes with a 127-197 record in two seasons at the helm in Chicago. The Cubs finished 66-96 this year.

Sveum had one year remaining on the three-year deal he signed before the 2012 season.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi is speculated to be a candidate to replace Sveum. A Chicago-area native who played college ball at Northwestern and broke into the majors as a catcher with the Cubs in 1989, Girardi was rumored to be a target when the position was vacant two years ago as well, but he was entering the second year of a three-year contract that expires this offseason.

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Cubs manager Dale Sveum shot by Robin Yount on hunting trip 12.05.12 at 7:58 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Timberwolves at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Nuggets at Hawks, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Mavericks at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Ohio at Memphis, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Florida at Florida State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Michigan State, 8 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Temple at Villanova, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Penn State at La Salle, 9 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: South Florida at Oklahoma State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: USC at New Mexico, 10 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Gonzaga at Washington State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Cubs manager Dale Sveum revealed Tuesday at baseball’s winter meetings that he was shot in the right ear and back during a recent hunting trip with Hall of Famer Robin Yount. The former Brewers teammates were hunting quail in Arizona when Yount fired a shot and Sveum was hit by the spray pattern from a six-shot.

“The bird got up in front of him, and he lost track of where I was and pulled the trigger,” Sveum said. “I was just looking for birds myself. It was behind me, so I got drilled with pellets in the back one stuck in the ear.”

Sveum, who said there was a lot of blood involved but he wasn’t seriously injured, added that he started calling Yount “Dick Cheney” in reference to the former vice president who shot a friend while hunting.

“You don’t get hit very often,” Sveum said, adding: “It’s not that big a deal.”

‘™¦ The Lakers squandered a 13-point lead with 10 minutes remaining and dropped a 107-105 decision to the Rockets on Tuesday night in Houston. Like the Magic did Sunday night, the Rockets fouled Dwight Howard repeatedly down the stretch, and Howard cooperated, missing 5-of-10 from the line in the last 3½ minutes (8-of-16 overall).

Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni defended his decision to keep Howard in the game.

“If you take him out now, then you’ll be taking out a guy that’s going to be your franchise player all the time,” D’Antoni said. “We’ve got other problems to worry about. We shouldn’t be talking about him. He’s doing a [heck] of a job and he’ll work through it and knock them down.”

Said Howard: “People are going to say whatever they want to say, but at the end of the day, go back and look at the game. The reason we lost was not my free throws. That didn’t lose us the game. Our defense was not there in the fourth quarter.”

The Lakers played with Pau Gasol (tendinitis in both knees), who has come under fire for his inability to acclimate to D’Antoni’s fast-paced offense. According to an ESPN report, general manager Mitch Kupchak told Gasol’s representatives that he will look to trade Gasol if the Spaniard cannot adjust to the new system.

The Wizards recorded just their second win of the season Tuesday night, and it came against the defending NBA champion Heat. With quarterback Robert Griffin III looking on, the Wizards pulled out a 105-101 victory.

Washington, which started the season 0-12 and has been without injured point guard John Wall all season, has defeated Miami three straight times, dating back to last season. But the Heat’s stars aren’t too concerned about the setback.

“Nah, man, there’s not no lesson. This ain’t a lesson for us. We just lost,” LeBron James said. “We’ve seen and been through everything, so we don’t need a loss to be like, ‘Oh, let’s catch ourselves.’ It happens.”

Said Dwyane Wade: “You move on. You learn from it, but yo don’t become a good team by holding on to certain losses — or certain wins.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 5, 1982, in a 6-4 victory over the Flyers, which Bruins player recorded a hat for the second consecutive day?

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John Gibbons withdraws from Pirates’ manager consideration 10.22.10 at 3:29 pm ET
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John Gibbons has withdrawn his name from consideration to manage the Pittsburgh Pirates following the firing of John Russell, Fanhouse reports.The Pirates are searching for a manager for the 2011 season after losing 105 games this season. It was the 18th straight losing season for Pittsburgh, a Major League Baseball franchise record.

Gibbons is currently the bench coach for the Kansas City Royals after serving as manager in Toronto from 2004-2008. Gibbons had a 305-305 record over his five seasons with the Blue Jays.

The Pirates expressed interest in Gibbons and Eric Wedge early in their search, but now only have five remaining interviewees after Wedge signed on to manage the Mariners for 2011. Dave Sveum, Jeff Banister, Bo Porter, Carlos Tosca and Ken Macha are remaining candidates for the job, but the Pirates have seemed to slow down their efforts considerably in the past weeks. Of the list, only Sveum and Macha have spent time as managers at the professional level.

Sveum was the third base coach of the Red Sox from 2004-2005 and he served as interim manager for the Brewers for a total of 12 games after manager Ned Yost was fired. Macha took over for manager in Milwaukee in 2009 and Sveum stayed on the team as the hitting coach. Macha also managed Oakland from 2003-2006 and lost to the Tigers in the 2006 ALCS.

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