The Cubs have officially announced they will have Mike Quade remain as manager for at least the next two seasons. Quade signed a two year deal with a team option for a third year. He spent 4 seasons as a third base coach for the Chicago Cubs and before that he spent 4 seasons with the Cubs minor league system including outfield coach and manager. Quade; an Illinois native, knows the Cubs very well and has paid his dues in the Cubs system which gained him leverage over the other candidates for the job. Mike; in his short term as Cubs manager’ gained respect from the players and management, notably Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Zambrano, Marlon Byrd, Ryan Dempster, Jim Hendry, and others. He has worked with young players in the minors and majors on fundamentals thus having the balance of working with veterans and rookies. If anything Quade is a safe pick and does have the all tangibles of a big league manager, whether that translates into success at the Major League level for a full season remains to be seen.
I also have various questions regarding the process on this situation. If they wanted Quade, why did they wait so long to hire him? Did Hendry actually endorse Quade and did Ricketts want Sandberg (if so, that is weak)? Is Hendry appointing Quade as manager a make or break move for him? What will happen to Sandberg? Who will be on Quade’s staff? All these are questions that need to be answered sooner or later.
I just want to say I feel it is a mistake naming a manager before the WS concludes. The main reason, Joe Girardi! Mike Quade would have still been there after the WS as would Ryne Sandberg because the Cubs did not grant any request for teams to talk to them. They would have still had them as there 2nd and 3rd options if Joe wanted to stay in the Bronx. The Cubs needed to take a gamble and wait to see if Joe would come back to Chicago. He has won everywhere he has gone, he labeled Chicago as his dream job, he is a Cubs fan, former Cubs player, and a fan favorite. Jim Hendry needed to wait for him because he would have hit a grand slam in having him as the Cubs next manager. I have to say the blunder of not waiting for Joe maybe right up there with signing Soriano to an 8-year deal or giving Milton Bradley a guaranteed 3 year deal.
I also want to say that I think it is a true mistake not giving fan favorite and Cubs icon Ryne Sandberg a shot at managing the Cubs. It is now likely that Ryne will manage elsewhere before Quade’s time is up in Chicago. So not only are the Cubs failing to bring back a Chicago staple in Girardi but they may lose one of the most beloved players in Cubs history. If you lose Quade so what! By not hiring Sandberg you are telling him to find work elsewhere because the Chicago Cubs do not want him.
I honestly feel this is a true mistake on Jim Hendry and Tom Ricketts part. Not waiting on Girardi and not giving Sandberg a shot maybe the worst move made by Jim Hendry while GM of the Cubs. This hire will likely define the entire Hendry Era as we know it and unfortunately for him it won’t be good.
To me a lot is going to depend on who Mike Quade brings in for his coaching staff and what Jim does this off-season. So far I am not in favor of the direction the team is heading. I do want to say I am willing to give Mike Quade a chance but to me if his first season does not result in a winning one it will be hard to look forward to the next season with him at the helm.
Until Next Time….