With the Cubs’ season about to open and only a scattered few in the broadcast booth able to wrap their mouths around the manager’s name, Dale Sveum was forced to make a decision he may later regret. Instead of extra pitching or a fifth outfielder, the new Cubs manager used the final spot on the 25-man roster to staff a speech therapist who specializes in his strange surname.
“The media here is tight and we’re all gonna need help in order to make a smooth transition,” explained Sveum (pronounced SWAYm). “Without the proper muscles, the combination of looking at my name while trying to speak it can cause your tongue to permanently roll back underneath itself.”
Speech therapist Josh Gray says he became interested in the letters ‘v,’ ‘e,’ and ‘u’ sounding like “way” after a particularly strange Ambien dream and has been following Sveum’s career for years.
“He’s the best case of a bafflingly short but weird celebrity name since Cary Elwes,” said Gray. “But I have a trick: just think of the word as if it was in the past predictive-future tense – or ‘to have been about to have swam.’”
Gray thinks the Cubs are a perfect fit. Coincidentally, he also once wrote a term paper for a speech philosophy class on the existence of Jeff Samardzija, entitled Letters: Are they mocking us?
“It was Sveum’s decision,” said general manager Jed Hoyer. “We can either let Brett Jackson’s development continue or we can have intelligent-sounding fans. I think he made a very progressive call.”