Rick Sutcliffe rips Hendry/Quade in Cubs camp

Rick Sutcliffe is usually known as an affable guy.

That’s why I found it so interesting that he openly ripped the prior regime in Carrie Muskat’s latest.

Sutcliffe was asked by Theo Epstein to come in and help with the pitchers this spring, and to actually coach and not “sign autographs”. The former Cy Young winner says he wasn’t really welcome in last year's camp, and he didn’t like what was going on with his old club anyway.

It's obvious to me that Mike Quade had a lot of insecurities running the club last year. This article does nothing but further convince me that the regime was trying to circle the wagons and look out for themselves. Now Sutcliffe is happy there is a new vibe around Mesa this spring.

 "There's some nice things going on here," he said. "I wasn't here last year. I wasn't on board with what was happening and I love the Cubs, pull for them, but I didn't feel I was welcome.

"I've been around the Phillies and the Yankees, and when you go down to a bullpen and watch five or six guys throw, you sit back and almost every other guy, you go 'Wow, he's got a chance,'" Sutcliffe said. "There wasn't a whole lot of 'wow' going on here [in Cubs camp]. It was disappointing. You've got to know where you're at to get better."

"There aren't any secrets," Sutcliffe said. "There's the truth and the fact that this is a mess. To me, the chain of command was broke, people were going in different directions with no leadership. There's leadership now."

Sutcliffe then drew an unfavorable comparison between the picks Epstein's regime made while in Boston compared to what Hendry’s organization drafted in a stretch from 2002-2004.  Jon Lester was Boston's top pick in 2002, outfielder David Murphy in '03, Dustin Pedroia in '04.

The Cubs meanwhile selected Bobby Brownlie, Ryan Harvey, and Grant Johnson. None reached the Major Leagues.

"Those guys [they drafted] in '02, '03, '04, they're supposed to be carrying us now," Sutcliffe said. "Those guys are no where to be found [with the Cubs]. That's why Jed was brought in and Jason was brought in.

Strong words from the Red Baron.

In other spring camp news, Gordon Wittenmyer repeats a story I gave you a while back that involved Dale Sveum and Ryan Braun last season.






Leave a comment
  • fb_avatar

    Good stuff Tom, and I don't think Suttcliffe is the only former Cub to get that treatment from the old regime.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Ryno and Mark Grace would concur with Sutcliffe...At least when Hendry was scouting director he got some decent players..John Stockstill, who MacPhail promoted to scouting director after Hendry became GM, totally screwed this system up and set us back a decade.The thing about the old regime was that was no accountability..ANYWHERE!!!

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    Stockstill didn't have a clue. I think anyone one of use could have picked up the Baseball America Draft Preview and have done a better job.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Yeah John, look at the stellar job he's done with the O's..LOL!!!! What a waste!!

  • I read this article yesterday and was hoping you'd catch it and post something on it to discuss. I can't disagree with Suttcliffe at all. Especially about the part with draft comparisons. It's a bit upsetting when you hear that from a former player.

  • In reply to lokeey:

    Nobody knows better than former Cubs what it would take to win in Chicago, nobody!! Especially stars like Dawson, Sandberg, Grace, Maddux and Sutcliffe..The Cubs never lost because of these guys, they loved being Cubs and us fans loved everything about them..The Cubs have lost for the most part because of bad management..That's been the curse all along!! Mr Ricketts is changing that..Dallas Green would have won here if not for the Tribune hieracy trying to tell him what to do..MacPhail never should have got that gig..He inherited a great situation in Minnesota and a great talent evaluator in Terry Ryan

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    Don't get me started on Dallas Green. I wrote about that a while back if you want to check it out http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-insider/2011/08/sorry-ed-dallas-green-was-a-success/

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Tom, great article!!! Harry Caray used to say that all the time and he was right.. His ego did him in and that team should have been a perenial contender in the early 90'sd probably would have won something, no doubt in my mind!!

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    Thanks, I am and was a HUGE DG guy. He was a douche to many, but we had something going there.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Totally had something going...Able to improve both the big league club and minor league system at the same time while being very competitve at times is a hard job..That being said, I couldn't stand Andy MacPhail,, what's your take on him?

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    How old were you when Dallas Green was GM? Your other article claims you don't like revisionist history, but your claim that the Sandberg trade was wildly unpopular is just not true. First, it was the Bowa for DeJesus trade and very few knew anything about Sandberg who was also in the trade. Ivan DeJesus was a decent player, but never a star. There was no great fan outcry that he was traded for Bowa. This was not a wildly unpopular trade.

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    You got that right Luigi. Horrible management at the highest levels. Everyone knows the Tribune saw and used the Cubs as a cash cow. Never really trying to win it all, fearing they might have to have a sustained high payroll as a result. And as long as they promoted and marketed the team as well as they did, there was great fan support (loyalty, but more so financially). No need to spend and build a great team. Only in the last couple years under Zell when he tried to "buy" a championship, all at the expense of the farm. But we all know this was to inflate the selling price of the team. I guess all of the above was to say just how completely in shambles this entire organization was when the new owner and front office took over. Lol. You are 100% correct. Sutcliffe and others were in the position to see/know this best as players. Sad, yet FINALLY we are justified in having hope for this team.

  • In reply to Bill:

    Bill, "shambles" is spot on!!! The media deflects this by bringing up the Billy Goat Curse and the black cat at Shea or Bartman!!!

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    You're right about the media. The vast majority of them have no idea the reasons why a team is successful or not. They don't even know what real journalism is. But they know that curses sell. Plus if you run interference and cover for an incompetent ownership/management you'll get access to juicy tidbits. That's why I love this site, John and Tom get it. Old school journalism.

  • In reply to Bill:

    Plus if you don't toe the company line and actually try to report the truth as you see it, you go the way of Steve Stone.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    10-4. Usually how it is in the corporate world..

  • In reply to lokeey:

    Yeah, I found this very interesting and as always the lead was buried!

  • I'm not surprised at all, Hendry seemed very defensive and insecure since Ricketts bought the team. From the get go, Ricketts wanted a younger, more dynamic GM and Hendry seemed to get more defensive and a little paranoid the last couple of years. As for Quade, another example of a guy way in over his head as a manager and was suspicious and insecure from the beginning.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    That's why he hired Quade, he wanted someone that would be in his corner and they either knew their time was limited or they were delusional.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    I'll go with delusional. As for Hendry hiring Quade, your right, he wanted someone who thought like him. Hendry being the insecure baby he was, hired a guy who was so grateful to be a manager , that he would never say a peep.

  • How about Wittenmyer not giving me credit for the Sveum/Braun story?

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Shittenmeyers a tool!!!!

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    I'm half kidding, you know the media doesn't recognize blogs.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    I didn't know that, but they should...I hear more quality coming out of Cubs Den and Bleacher nation than I do out of any newspaper and the fellow posters on this site are quality Cub fans not some idiots who talk out of their behinds..We Love The Cubs!!! Keep up the good work Tom ..You and John are the first site I go to about our beloved Cubs!!!!

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    Thanks Luigi, I always read everything out there and there isn't anyone who gives as much info on the Cubs :)

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    I concur that Cubs Den is the best site (not just blog) to come to for Cubs info now. Excellent job.

    And nice job from Sutt. Everybody on all fronts -- media, fans, coaches, players AND former players -- needs to start talking real about this team. Baseball ain't a circus, and we've had too many bozos!

  • Did my heart good to hear Sut say what was on his mind, stuff alot of Cubs fans probably knew or at least thought for some time but were never going to hear coming out of the circus that was called management, Sutcliffe isnt getting paid to "rag" on those guys, just telling it like it is/was. Damn shame when ex-cubs, the top of the line guys, that would have been more than willing to help out and better the teams were pushed away, more or less made to feel "your done" here, see ya. Good to know that kind of crap is out of the org., it's going to be so cool to watch this all play out from start to who knows where.

  • fb_avatar

    I've been a Cubs fan for 35 years. I watched Dllas Green come in and bring a winner to Chicago and then get kicked to the curb. We Cubs fans have to be thankful to the Rickett's family for cleaning house. I think with the new regime coming in we will see a winner in the near future. Sutcliiffe said the right things and I'm happy to see him helping with the coaching. I'm looking forward to this year and the results this new coaching staff gets from these players.

  • The thing Sutcliffe said that most resonated with me was "people were going in different directions with no leadership." And the thing that most excites me now is the idea of doing the same thing top to bottom, of having a long-term plan and an idea of what to do in the short run, and of them not contradicting one another. It has always amazed me to read stories, from any organization, in which players talk about doing something different at each level of the minor leagues - pitching, hitting, whatever.

  • In reply to bruno14:

    Yes, direction has returned to the north side.

  • Sutcliffe knows on which side the bread is buttered.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Does that make him a Yook or a Zook?

  • In reply to bruno14:

    It depends on his Grandpa.

  • Got busy at work and missed all the fun. LOL! I read that DG article a while back when I first found myself messing around on ChicagoNow. Great stuff, Tom. I think we are on the right path now and with a few more moves and drafts, I think this organization with Theo, Jed and Jason and of course the Ricketts family, it's going to be exciting.

  • In reply to lokeey:

    Thanks Lokeey, that DG thing still bothers me. The 84 team and what could have been with the 89-92 years is something we can talk about for hours.

  • Don't know the protocol here, but I've got a 4th year keeper league that needs one more. 12 teams, H2H, 6x6, $100 entry fee. Let me know if you're interested or ban me into obscurity.

  • It's refreshing to hear the truth, isn't it? Especially the part about the draft picks. And for how great Wilken's reputation is, his picks have not panned out all that well. It seems he often tries to outsmart everyone by picking guys in the first round that no one had pegged as first round guys (like Tyler Colvin), who don't turn out well.

  • In reply to SVAZCUB:

    Mixed bag with Wilken. I reported a while back that he wasn't allowed to draft some of the guys he wanted to due to money and that Hendry wanted Shark badly, so they had to under-slot (if you will ) the first pick that year. Either way, I'm so glad J Mac is here.

  • "Those guys [they drafted] in '02, '03, '04, they're supposed to be carrying us now," Sutcliffe said. "Those guys are no where to be found [with the Cubs]. That's why Jed was brought in and Jason was brought in."

    Those are not strong words. They are just obvious facts. Everyone including Hendry would agree that those drafts were failures.

Leave a comment