MESA, Ariz. -- Dale Sveum had a tough time finding the visitors' clubhouse at Cubs Park. After all, he expected to be using the home dugout this year.
Sveum, who was dismissed last October after two seasons as the Cubs' manager, returned on Sunday in his new role as the Royals' third-base coach. Kansas City manager Ned Yost offered the job to Sveum as he was walking back to his apartment the day he got the news from Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein.
Sveum said it wasn't strange to be at Cubs Park. He'd offered advice on the new facility, but he spent more time on the plans for the nearby training complex. Still, Sveum had expected to be a part of the Cubs' rebuilding process and see some of the young talent.
"That's what your vision was to see those guys develop and be here through all that," Sveum said. "We're five months removed from everything now. We've got a nice ballclub [with the Royals] and a chance to win, and a lot of young kids who have gotten to the point where it's time to win. It's far removed from what happened five months ago."
He'd like to manage again, and he has no regrets about his two years with the Cubs.
"I walked away with my head up and understood what I wanted to do, and did it -- we got guys to play hard, we got guys to prepare every day," he said. "People have asked me, 'Would you do things differently?' No. I don't have that big of an ego. There's nothing I'd do differently. The communication was what it was. People knew what their jobs were and their roles were. I demanded you to play hard and prepare, and they did that."
Sveum did expect to have dinner sometime this spring with Epstein. They've exchanged text messages and talked on the phone a few times in the offseason. Was managing the Cubs different than anywhere else?
"It's going to be different than managing in Milwaukee or Kansas City," Sveum said. "You obviously have way more media and press, and obviously, the fan base of a [television] channel going throughout the whole country. I guess it's how you look at it, too, and what kind of personality you have. It's part of the job. It never bothered me."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.