A League of Her Own

Wednesday Headlines: Quade Next Future Ex-Manager

Mike Quade and Tom Ricketts
Tom Ricketts wears the uglier tie so as
not to upstage Quade's finest moment
(Brian Cassella, Chicago Tribune)


Unless you're Amish, you've probably heard by now that Mike Quade is the new manager of your Chicago Cubs. The only question now is, why? Did Quade blackmail Cubs management? Was Tom Ricketts afraid to have a manager that's better looking than him? Pact with the Devil? Jim Hendry says none of the above.

"The record is nice, Hendry said. "And winning never hurts you. But it's what he did behind the scenes and the way he ran the game and the way he handled the players, the way he controlled a lot of issues that could have snowballed ... I don't think that anybody here didn't write that at 5-20 before Mike took over that we were an abysmal Triple-A club playing it out and that we'd probably lose 100 games.

"The record was not just the winning and losing. All the things that he did really made the record."

One of the things he did included bringing in baked goods for the front office regularly. Tom Ricketts wanted a manager who didn't just sit on the bench and spit sunflower seeds.

"No. 1, we wanted a manager who wanted to be a coach," Ricketts said. "Anyone who has seen Mike on the field working with the younger guys and know his history knows that Mike is just that.

"Secondly, we wanted a manager who knows what it's like to be a Cub. Mike grew up in the area. He grew up as a Cubs fan. He's been with the organization for eight years.

"The third thing we were looking for was someone who is committed to the organization for the long haul. Mike has proved that he's got a focus on winning today and to building our organization for the future and over the long run."



As for that other candidate, he's sad.

''All I can go on is what I was offered,'' said Sandberg, who spent the last four seasons managing at three minor-league levels for the Cubs. ''I wasn't offered anything. I can't make up my own job. I can't offer myself a job. ... I would have managed the Cubs.''

(snip)

''The initial phone call was disappointing,'' Sandberg said. ''I felt like I situated myself and positioned myself to be a serious candidate. I feel like I got that chance and that opportunity with going through the interview process, but to come up a little short, that's disappointing.''

Phil Rogers decided that Cub fans wouldn't be upset enough about Quade over Ryno, so he'd write a very special column to further fan the flames.

Yet on Tuesday, Hendry officially threw back Sandberg -- an ill-advised catch and release that will bring consequences far beyond the offices at Clark and Addison.

Sandberg deserved to be the Cubs' next manager. There shouldn't even have been a search, really. This was a no-brainer -- hiring a great player with enough humility to ride buses alongside 22-year-old players and enough knowledge and presence to not only develop those players (a minor-league manager's primary job) but also to win.

It's the last part that sometimes gets lost with Sandberg. It would make sense to hire Mike Quade, not Sandberg, if Sandberg's teams had struggled. But in the last two years he took a Double-A team to the league championship and produced the most victories in a 16-team Triple-A league.

If what Sandberg has done isn't enough to get a chance to manage in the big leagues, when exactly will another player with similar stature sign on for a minor-league apprenticeship?

Maybe it's not that big a deal, because players of that stature rarely make good managers? All the hand-wringing about Quade reminds me that a manager is responsible for how many wins? I think it's five or six. Someone smarter than me will remember or look it up. Anyway, let's all give thanks for all those great Quade photos I'll get to post next season.

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22 Comments

JulieDiCaro said:

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OMG--WGN has the worst psychic EVER on the show today.

Doc said:

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Well, that's appropriate since the parent company is run by the worst group of executives EVER.

plamorte said:

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why? did he or she predict a Cubs World Series win?

JulieDiCaro said:

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it was like "do you know someone with an M or a J? No? Are you sure? No one with an M or a J? Okay, what about your daughter's boyfriend? She's 6? Oh, I didn't know how old she was. How about an R or an S? Anyone in your family whose name has an R or an S? Are you sure? Think about it for a second. . . you know, when I was 5, I had a boyfriend. Are you sure your daughter doesn't have a boyfriend? You should maybe look into that. What about a best friend? Is her best friend a boy? No? Does she have any friends that are boys?"

sloan peterson said:

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Did the psychic predict when the segment would end?

JulieDiCaro said:

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i think she was caught off guard by how early it ended.

HackWilson09 said:

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Wow... You really don't want to talk about Mike Quade, do you...

gravedigger said:

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i lol'd at the headline, as usual.

FrankS said:

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The general consensus that I've read is that managers can maybe win 3 or 4 games a year. Jim Hendry seems to be indicating that he thinks that Mike Quade is worth something like 20 wins over 37 games.

Maybe I've missed the replies, but I've asked on several blogs what changed statistically when Quade took over. I read at least one source that the Cubs offense was even worse under Quade than under Lou. The fielding wasn't any better. And I don't think the pitching was significantly better either, although the middle relief was really strong down the stretch. Do you give credit to Quade, Rothschild or just freaking dumb luck for that improvement?

cadarnell said:

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i think having ryno in there was going to be worth more than just a few more wins a year ... die hard fans wanted him back .. we miss him ... we love him ... and that combined with the fact that he really seems like he is going to be a solid manager made him the obvious choice ... i dont believe for even a second that if Q had a 13 and 27 record that he would have got the job ... thats a lie ... it still might not have been ryno as it seems like hendry isnt a fan of his, but it wouldnt have been Q ... no way ... all total BS ... ryno will be gone for good ... as an Indiana University basketball fan ... it's steve alford all over again for me ...

HackWilson09 said:

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It's called leadership. You can discount things like "leadership" and "gamesmanship" and "clutch hitting" if you want. Stats can't tell you everything.

Here's an example of something different from what Quade did: Making out the lineup card, and then sitting their like a big, flabby lump of flesh in a manager's costume. Then occasionally strolling out to the mound to make a pitching change.

We all knew the Cubs were better than they were playing. How do you account for their record in one-run games? There was no fire. They weren't a great team this year, but they couldn't have been THAT bad.

Quade led the team toward a situation where they were winning close games and playing up to their potential.

I'm trying to figure out why everyone has such a big problem with Quade. The simple fact that the Cubs were willing to make the unpopular choice gives me a LOT of hope.

So if you like stats, just look at wins and losses -- they're really the only ones that matter.

cadarnell said:

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you may be right ... who knows ... maybe they did sandberg a favor ... if the wins and losses don't look good by the allstar break next season though ... hendry will be hearing it big time ... not that he will listen ...

Mike d said:

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does he have eyebrows?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Quade?

We don't think so. He has no hair anywhere. Some kind of condition.

sloan peterson said:

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He could host a "Mr Clean" lookalike contest at Wrigley...

Edelweiss said:

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Have you looked everywhere?

JulieDiCaro said:

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John Kass' comment on bloggers:

"Chicago Tribune reporters work in difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions. They do not blog from mommy's basement, cutting and pasting what others have reported, while putting it under a cute pen name on the Internet."

So John, you write columns that comment on what other people report. This is different from what bloggers do in what way?

Doc said:

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Kaplan has tweeted that Hendry would welcome Sandberg back to manage Iowa.

I don't think Sandberg would be all that happy with that idea.

Sandberg needs to be on a big league club this year...not in the minor leagues again.

HackWilson09 said:

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Ryno would make a great third-base coach and infield coach.

Edelweiss said:

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Sandberg's ego outstrips his ability.

cadarnell said:

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i don't believe that at all edelweiss

Doc said:

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I think that is not at all accurate...if his ego was of issue, he'd never have gone to A ball 4 years ago.

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