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Quade Spells End To Sandberg Era

By bullpenbrian - October 20, 2010 - 12:01 am 4 comments.

I gave Mike Quade a zero percent chance of managing the Cubs full time. But I’m ready to give the man his due. He made his own break, made the decision not to hire him a tough one and in the end won the job fair and square.

The speculation, however, that Quade’s hire was purely a financial decision is bogus. Jim Hendry’s job security is tied directly to his new manager.

If Quade fails, Hendry goes out the door with him, and probably much quicker than had he hired Ryno. That alone makes me believe even more in Hendry’s decision to pass on Sandberg.

Unfortunately, this decision officially slams the door on Ryno’s tour of duty with Chicago–possible for good. Despite doing all that was asked of him by Cubs management, doing it with success, and waiting his turn, Sandberg was shunned in the end.

He too deserves an opportunity to skipper in the bigs and I have little doubt Ryno earns one by winter’s end. In fact, I’d be greatly disappointed if he doesn’t.

Although Quade was never my choice–I would have gone with Sandberg–I couldn’t be happier for the man. I think his passion will carry over into 2011, which is super encouraging for Cubs fans.

On the other hand, Sandberg represented a clean break from the old regime. And while the Cubs owed him nothing, there’s a fair argument Ryno is a better fit than Quade for the position.

Lord help us if Quade turns into the next Bill Russell and Sandberg the next Mike Scioscia. Any Dodgers fans will tell you how that decision turned out!


Hiring Mike Quade

By bullpenbrian - October 3, 2010 - 12:01 am 3 comments.

Mike Quade is (24-12) since taking over, including Saturday’s 8-3 win against Houston.

He’s won 8 of 12 series, gone (17-4) on the road and guided the Cubs to 15 wins in its last 21 games.

Is there anything more Quade could have done to prove his worth this season?

Is the public support of team leader Ryan Dempster not enough to bring Quade back for another go-round?

Is Ryno or Girardi that better of an option than Quade?

If, in fact, Quade doesn’t get the gig, it gives credibility to my projection that Quade never had a chance to begin with.

But as the season comes to a close Sunday, there’s no good reason why Quade shouldn’t be the Cubs next skipper.


To Hire Quade, That Is The Question

By bullpenbrian - September 30, 2010 - 12:01 am 1 comment.

I said Mike Quade has zero chance to manage the Cubs next season. Maybe I spoke too soon?

Ryan Dempster, who became the clubhouse’s unofficial spokesman with the departure of Derrek Lee, gave his vote of approval for Quade following Tuesday’s 5-2 win in San Diego.

“He’s done a great job and I hope that he’s here longer than just this year. I hope he’s managing for us next year because he deserves it. He’s done everything they’ve asked, and everyone in here really likes him.”

Those are powerful words given Dempster’s credibility, and should pull some weight in Quade’s direction this offseason.

Quade deserves some praise, but what do you make of a team playing without any pressure and without fear of losing a job? That, of course, is for Jim Hendry to determine.

If not guilty by association with the old regime, I’d have no problems with Quade as the next Cubs manager.
But I still feel the Cubs need a clean break from the 2010 season, and that leaves Quade out in the cold.

Hiring a higher profile candidate than Quade guarantees nothing, of course. But Jim Hendry is desperate to make a splash hiring. His pick for the 2011 manager is certain to determine his job security.

Signing Quade puts Hendry on a very short leash. He’s not the popular pick, he’s not high profile and his sample size with the big club is small.

If Quade’s success doesn’t carry over quickly next season, Wrigleyville will be in an uproar, and Hendry out the door.
Hire a Ryno or Girardi, however, and Hendry buys more time to right the ship.

It’s a tough position for the Cubs’ GM, and Dempster, although well intentioned, hasn’t made things any easier on Hendry.


Chicago’s Other Coach Q

By bullpenbrian - September 15, 2010 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

At 18 games out of first, you take pride in small victories.
Defeating the Cardinals is one of them.
Beating Adam Wainwright is another!

Wainwright entered the game with an MLB-best 1.52 home ERA.
The Cubs tagged him for a career-worst 12 hits,
and scored five runs against him in eight innings.
Wainwright lost for just the third time at home (11-3).

Where were these Cubs the first five months of the season?
And who knew the answer was 90-feet away in the third base coaching box!

Tuesday night is another feather in Mike Quade’s cap.
Cubs have gone 13-7 under ‘Q’, winning five of its last six series.
The skipper’s case for the full time job is growing stronger.

Also to Quade’s benefit, Fredi Gonzalez, once a leading candidate for the position, has declined the Cubs request to interview him.
Gonzalez is unquestionably heading to Atlanta to replace Bobby Cox.
Just another win for Quade.

A few more wins and Quade may have a real chance to catch Ryno in the polls!


Does Mike Quade Have Any Chance To Manage Cubs In 2011?

By bullpenbrian - August 24, 2010 - 12:01 am 2 comments.

The Cubs say Mike Quade is a candidate for the open managerial position, but my gut says otherwise.

It’s unlikely Jim Hendry could withstand the backlash of hiring Quade. Not with Ryno waiting in the wings, Joe Girardi as free agent and Bob Brenly’s availability, just to name a few.

Hiring Quade would raise an already unstable intensity in Wrigleyville to dangerous heights.

The first sign of strife in 2011 would put Quade under immense pressure, more so than the norm, and culture an environment that prevents winning and breeds more unpleasantries.

Such a scenario would certainly spell the end for Hendry too, and especially if the other managerial candidates find success on the field elsewhere.

The way I see it, Hendry is rewarding Quade for toeing the company line for eight years, and his ‘audition’ in 2010 isn’t for the Cubs’ managerial hunt, but rather, serves as a resume builder for Quade to skipper elsewhere in the bigs.

It’s a nice gesture from Hendry, and also the most politically correct move considering bench coach Alan Trammel is no longer a candidate.

Nothing against Quade, either. The man’s earned an opportunity to skipper in the bigs. But his timing to do so with Chicago couldn’t be worse.


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