It’s not fair to compare Pete Mackanin to Mike Quade, but the similarities between the two are hard to ignore: both are Chicago-born, both are baseball lifers and both have had successful stints as interim managers.
Similarities, however, hardly spell doom and gloom should Mackanin be chosen as manager. He, along with any other candidate, will inherit a much better situation than Quade did.
Of course, we’ll never know how Quade would have faired under the direction of the Cubs’ new brain trust, which at the very least, would have afforded him more than a single season to right the ship and establish his reign as bench boss had he been hired as their manager of choice.
What we do know, however, is Quade didn’t work out for either party, not from a coaching perspective or a winning one. Time for a change.
As is common place in baseball, teams typically reboot the system with a managing style opposite of what they had, and the Cubs have been no exception.
Hard-nosed Jim Riggleman was replaced by the soft-spoken Don Baylor, who was then succeeded by a friendly and out-spoken Dusty Baker, who was followed by the demanding Lou Piniella.
Hiring Mackanin wouldn’t follow the customary route, which is everything the new Cubs brass aspires not to be, but there’s no ignoring Mackanin would feel a lot like Mike Quade 2.0.
That said, if Theo deems Mackanin the right fit, so be it. I’ll gladly give Pete the same fair chance I gave Quade.
But that’s one tough sell to Wrigleyville for Theo Epstein who’s doing everything he can to distance himself from the Old Cubs way, one which appears a lot like Mackanin.