Blog Entry

Cubs hire Quade as manager

Posted on: October 19, 2010 12:22 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:57 pm
 
For a decade now, the Cubs have gone with celebrity managers.

First Don Baylor, who stayed 2 1/2 years and had one 88-win season. Then Dusty Baker, who stayed four years and inspired the 2003 "Dustiny" run that ended a win short of the World Series. And then Lou Piniella, who won two division titles, won 97 games in 2008 and then presided over a year and a half of more disappointment.

Piniella retired in August, and when it came time to name his permanent replacement, the Cubs didn't go high-profile this time.

Instead, they've given the job to 53-year-old Mike Quade, who today signed a two-year deal with an option for 2013.

Quade is a baseball lifer, as colleague Scott Miller detailed in a column last month. He earned plenty of respect for his work during years in the minor leagues, and as a major-league coach. He earned even more for the way he handled the job of interim manager after Piniella left, and the Cubs' 24-13 record under his watch no doubt helped convince general manager Jim Hendry to give him the job full-time.

Hendry had other options, higher-profile options. He could easily have handed the job to Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg, who deserved a chance after going to manage in the minor leagues (and by all accounts doing his job very well). He could have tried throwing money at Joe Torre. He could have waited to see if Joe Girardi would leave the Yankees.

Instead, he stuck with Quade, who was barely known when he took over for Piniella and not much better known now. He never played in the major leagues, spending five seasons as a player bouncing around from Class A to Double-A and back. He worked all over the minor leagues as a manager, and even won the Caribbean Series once as a manager in the winter league in the Dominican Republic, but that doesn't exactly get you notoriety.

He'll be known now, all the more so if he can do the impossible and become the manager who finally takes the Cubs back to the World Series.

It's a huge challenge. It always is on the North Side of Chicago. If anything, it's a bigger challenge now, because the Cubs are a flawed team stuck with a bunch of bad contracts.

Is Quade the right guy? That's hard to tell. If September is a bad time to judge whether players are ready for the big leagues, it's just as bad for judging managers, and many teams have made mistakes holding onto interim managers who had once good September.

You wonder what this says about Sandberg, and also what it says to Sandberg. So many star players have refused to go manage in the minor leagues, and many of those have been given managerial jobs (Don Mattingly, for instance). Sandberg not only went to the minors, but Cubs people said he worked hard to learn every part of the operation (asking for advice on how to write scouting reports).

You wonder how this affects Girardi, who was never all that likely to leave the Yankees, but now is left without much leverage in his coming contract negotiations.

But Hendry knows that this hire needs to be a good one. He has enjoyed great support so far from the Ricketts family, who just finished their first season as the Cubs owners. Hendry knows that support could easily fade if the Cubs keep losing.

He knows that his fate could be tied to the next manager. Now, it's tied to Mike Quade.

You may not know Quade very well. Soon, you will.

Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2012 8:46 am
 

Cubs hire Quade as manager




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Posted on: January 14, 2012 8:01 pm
 

Cubs hire Quade as manager

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 30, 2011 10:58 pm
 

Cubs hire Quade as manager

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Posted on: December 23, 2011 8:09 pm
 

Cubs hire Quade as manager

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 2:57 pm
 

Cubs hire Quade as manager




Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 8:30 pm
 

Cubs hire Quade as manager




Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 3:53 pm
 

Cubs hire Quade as manager

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Tomly
Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 22, 2011 8:00 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jan 10, 2007
Posted on: October 21, 2010 1:15 am
 

Cubs hire Quade as manager

The roster is set? 90 wins? What kool-aid are you drinking? The team batted .232 in Sept during this winning streak, 26th in the majors. They were 23rd in runs scored during this same span. The saving grace was the pitching staff was 6th during time frame. You think this pitching staff is going to pitch 6th in the majors for a season?



Since: May 26, 2007
Posted on: October 20, 2010 4:53 pm
 

Cubs hire Quade as manager

This is a great move by Hendry. Mike Quade has the full support of the players, and looking at what he was able to do with a mostly gutted roster there at the end was amazing. 24-13 is a very respectable record down the stretch, and considering we'll have Silva back healthy and Zambrano hopefully pitching like he was down the stretch for the entire year, you can easily add another 10-12 wins to the final tally right there. Throw in an offense that finally started to produce runs, and Chicago will be right back in the hunt next year.

I know many of you wanted Girardi or Sandberg, but in all honesty Quade has 25 years of coaching experience under his belt between the minors and majors. Quade knows this roster better than anyone, and i think that that will go a long way. I could easily see a 90 win season without much roster turnover. The only positions I think need addressed immediately are 1B and 2B. Ouside of that...we're set.


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