CHICAGO, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Dale Sveum was fired Monday as manager of the Chicago Cubs, one day after the team finished a 96-loss season.
The change comes less than two years after Sveum was hired as manager. Chicago was 61-101 in 2012 and 66-96 in the season that ended Sunday with a 4-0 loss in St. Louis.
"Today, we made the very difficult decision to relieve Dale Sveum of his duties as Cubs manager," Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein said in a release.
"Dale has been a committed leader for this team the last two seasons and I want to thank him for all of his dedication and hard work. I have a lot of admiration for Dale personally and we all learned a lot from the way he has handled the trying circumstances of the last two years, especially the last two weeks, with strength and dignity."
Chicago used a team-record 56 players during the last season, with just 12 on the Opening Day roster still around for Sunday's finale, MLB.com reported.
"Today's decision to pursue a new manager was not made because of wins and losses. Our record is a function of our long-term building plan and the moves we have made -- some good, a few we would like back -- to further this strategy," Epstein's statement said.
The Cubs' 2013 loss total was surpassed by only three teams, including the Houston Astros (111 losses) and the cross-town rival Chicago White Sox (99). The Miami Marlins lost 100 games and the Minnesota Twins matched the Cubs with 96 losses.
Chicago ended up 31 games behind the NL Central champion St. Louis Cardinals, who had the best record in the National League.