Tag Archive | "Mike Quade"

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Ryne Sandberg Not Pleased with Cubs Managerial Interview Process – Wrigley Field 11/16/10

Posted on 16 November 2010 by Lou

Ryne Sandberg was recently named the Manager of the Phillies Triple-A affiliate in Lehigh Valley of the International League.  When asked about the Cubs managerial interview process, he seemed to indicate that he didn’t thnk that the Cubs took his candidacy that seriously.  Here are a few of his quotes:

“Well, you know what, obviously there was disappointment at the end.  As I look back and see everybody involved in the interview process, I think the most games anybody saw me manage was 4-5 games, by everybody that I talked to.  Based on that, I don’t know how I would hired for a job if nobody saw me doing my job elsewhere.  That was kind of a disappointing part of the whole thing.  But now that I see it, it’s very obvious with the process and the final choice… I did what I had to do.  I had a good season.  I progressed through the farm system.  I’m not saying I totally paid my dues, I don’t want to go there, because I don’t know what paying the dues is, how many years that means.  Becasue there are guys who do it a lot more.  Deep down I felt I did what I had to do, and had fun at it, and was good at it.  I had some confidence right down to the end, but looking back at it, I see things a little differently… I just enjoyed my interview with the Phillies… They talked about organization.  They talked about team.  And they used the word ‘we’ a lot.  They also said I would be working hand in hand with the big club, whatever is needed.  There will be phone calls quite often, maybe even every other day from the major-league club.  That connection, and that confidence in me in helping them and be a part of it is something I’m excited about.”

WOW – Sandberg seems pretty bitter right now, but I think he is in a much better situation than if he WAS hired as the Cubs major league manager.  With the Ricketts continuing to slash payroll, things are going to be pretty ugly for a little while on the North Side…

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Ryne Sandberg Hired as Phillies Triple-A Manager at Lehigh Valley – Wrigley Field 11/15/10

Posted on 15 November 2010 by Lou

It’s official – Ryne Sandberg is the new Triple-A Manager of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs of the International League.  The Cubs passed over Sandberg for the Cubs major league managerial job and decided to hire Mike Quade to take over the job on a full-time basis after he guided the Cubs to an impressive 24-13 record during the final 37 games of the season.  Sandberg did everything the Cubs asked him to do by managing for the last 4 seasons in the Cubs minor league system, but when the Cubs went with Quade instead of him a month ago, that was the final straw.  Sandberg returns to the organization that drafted him back in 1982.

I’m glad that Ryno found a place to land after the Cubs debacle.  It was definitely the right move for Sandberg and the Cubs once the Cubs opted to go with Quade.  To have Sandberg still in the Cubs organization would have been more trouble than it was worth.  Guess we’ll see how it all plays out over the next few years, but it would not surprise me to hear Sandberg’s name in the mix the next time the Cubs are looking for a major league manager (which could be as early as years) depending on how bad things get with the Ricketts slashing payroll and the Cubs trying to rebuild…

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It’s Official — Ryne Sandberg Leaves Cubs Organization – Wrigley Field — 11/4/10

Posted on 04 November 2010 by Lou

When the Cubs chose Mike Quade instead of Ryne Sandberg to fill the Cubs managerial opening, the writing was on the wall that Sandberg would leave the Cubs organization.  That reality became official on Wednesday afternoon when the Cubs announced that Sandberg declined the opportunity to manage the Triple-A Iowa Cubs for a 2nd straight season.  GM Jim Hendry had this to say about the announcement: “The Iowa decision was totally his.  We gave him as much time on his decision as he needed to.  He’ll always be a beloved Cub… I don’t think it was ever in his plans to be in the minor leagues after this year.  Whatever opportunities he looks to is up to him.  He’ll always be welcome here.  He knows that for the future, if he chooses he wants to come to spring training, that would be great.  If he wants to pursue opportunities with someone else that would be up to him..

Owner Tom Ricketts echoed those sentiments on ESPN Radio 1000′s “Afternoon Saloon” show later that afternoon: “There’s no good-bye.  He’s a Cubs.  He’ll be a Cub for life… If he would like to explore some options with other teams to pursue some other opportunities that doesn’t really change anything with respect to what he has accomplished for the team or what he means to the team.  If that’s his decision then I wish him all the best, and he’s a Cub forever.”

Sandberg managed in the Cubs minor league system for the past 4 seasons.  He led Double-A Tennessee to the playoffs in 2009 and he was named Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year as he led the Iowa Cubs to and 82-62 record during the 2010 baseball season.  Sandberg was a 10-time All-Star during his Cubs career.  He won the 1984 National League MVP Award as the Cubs won the NL East title for the 1st time since 1945.  Sandberg also won 9 Gold Glove Awards for his solid play at 2nd base.

It is a sad day, but not an unexpected one.  Let’s hope the Ricketts’ family has a plan here on the North Side.  With all the trades last year, a whole new coaching staff and a brand new ownership team still learning the ins and outs of running a major league baseball team, Tom Ricketts clearly has his work cut out for him.  I’m not expecting a major turnaround in a year, but we need to see things move in a positive direction in the very near future so that we can start to get excited about rooting for a good Cubs team again.

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Mike Quade, Cubs to Hire Pat Listach as Bench Coach — Wrigley Field 11/1/10

Posted on 01 November 2010 by Lou

Cubs Manager Mike Quade and the Cubs plan to hire Pat Listach as his new Bench Coach.  Listach has managed in the Cubs minor league system at Triple-A Iowa.  Listach is currently the 3rd base coach of the Washington Nationals under former Cubs manager Jim Riggleman.  The move shows the continued tendency to hire personnel with ties to the Cubs orgnazation.  Listach will likely also handle infield instruction for players, a job that Alan Trammell performed while serving as Lou Pinella’s bench coach.

Listach was a middle infielder during his playing career and was named the Rookie of the Year back in 1992 when he played for the Milwaukee Brewers.

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Ryne Sandberg Will Not Be on Mike Quade’s Coaching Staff – Wrigley Field 10/29/10

Posted on 29 October 2010 by Lou

It’s official – or at least as official as we can make it – Ryne Sandberg will not be a part of new Cubs Manager Mike Quade’s coaching staff.  While neither Quade nor Sandberg have come out and said it, sources close to the situation have indicated that Sandberg will not be a coach on Quade’s staff.

This “official rumor” comes as no surprise at all. Sandberg was devastated that Tom Ricketts and Jim Hendry did not name him the new Cubs manager.  To be subjected to the inferior bench coach job underneath Quade would be way too much to swallow for the Cubs legend and Hall of Famer.  Further, if the team did get off to a rough start for the 1st half of the season, there would be way too much chatter about Sandberg taking over the reigns as the manager.  Throw in the fact that you’d hate to have factions with some guys supporting Quade and some guys supporting Sandberg, this makes all the sense in the world.

We’ll support Quade while he is in charge for 2 years.  If he doesn’t get the job done, Quade and most likely, Hendry will both be gone after the 2012 MLB season.  And then maybe the Cubs can revisit bringing Sandberg back as the manager.

I wish 2011 would get here soon – can’t wait to see if things get worse on the north side or if they just stay the same under Quade.

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Mike Quade Looking for Bench Coach After Alan Trammell Departure – Wrigley Field 10/27/10

Posted on 27 October 2010 by Lou

Mike Quade is officially looking for a bench coach to work with him during the next 2 seasons on the North Side of Chicago at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field.

Alan Trammell – Lou Pinella’s bench coach for the last 4 seasons – has joined Kirk Gibson’s staff as the bench coach for the Arizaona Diamondbacks.  Two former Cubs – Don Baylor (hitting coach) and Eric Young (1st base coach) are also on that staff.

The Cubs and Quade do not expect Triple-A Manager Ryne Sandberg to want to take the Cubs bench coaching job for the 2011 season given his managerial aspirations.  Although Sandberg is still the Triple-A Iowa manager, everyone expects Sandberg to leave the organization to take a major league coaching position elsewhere.

Larry Rothschild will be back as the Cubs pitching coach.  Rudy Jaramillo will be back as the Cubs hitting coach.  Bullpen coach Lester Strode, 1st base coach Ivan DeJesus and 3rd base coach Bob Dernier are all expected back as well.

We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear who might be the front runner for Quade’s bench coach job in 2011 and beyond…

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Quade Quotes & His Thoughts on Ryne Sandberg – Mike Quade Wrigley Field 10/21/10

Posted on 21 October 2010 by Lou

Just a few days after the Cubs hiring of Mike Quade as their new manager, I’m learning more and more about the guy that I like.  I like that he’s down to earth.  I like that he expects accountability, from himself AND his players.  I like that the players respect him and have come out to support the hire.  I like that he will rely upon the numbers and statistics, but will also manage with his gut and instincts.  An example – he told a story of how they were looking at Sean Marshall’s numbers against a particular batter late in the season.  The overall numbers were bad, but Quade decided to look deeper into the numbers and he found that Marshall had retired the batter each of the last 9 times he faced him and that most of the bad numbers occurred years ago when Marshall was used as a starting pitcher every so often.  So Quade went with his gut, used Marshall in the situation and he got the guy out again.  It’s stories like that that make you think he’s going to lead the 2011 Cubs team in a way that we haven’t seen a manager do since Lou Pinella did back during the 2nd half of 2007 and in all of 2008.  Pinella essentially gave up after that – during the Milton Bradley fiasco of a year in 2009 and when he decided to leave the team in August 2010 after an atrocious 2010 MLB season.  Something tells me that this Mike Quade guy won’t quit on the job like that – he can’t afford to if he expects to make the most of this golden opportunity.

Here are a few other quotes from Quade — “I’d loved the game and wanted to manage at this level, yeah. But when you get done playing and you’re young and you’re fired up and you’re going, ‘OK, three years, four years. I’ll start moving up the ladder and I’ll be there.’ And then, five years go by. You’re still staying after it. You love what you do. You’re teaching, working and then 10 years go by. You change your goals. All of a sudden, you’re going, ‘Wow, this is a tough gig,’ but all the while getting to do what I love to do… I talk so much about the process with the ballclub and it’s probably the same for me. If it ever get to a point where I said, ‘Gosh, am I going to get it?’ I probably would have walked away.”

Asked how he felt about the negative Cubs history — “But I’ve lived here and I was raised here. I get it. You’re totally aware of it. But it’s not going to do us any good at all as a ballclub or me as a manager or me as a person, to have that anywhere near my thoughts on a daily basis.”  That is the perfect response – let’s just hope he means it and can implement it.

As for his feelings about Ryne Sandberg potentially joining his staff at the major league level – “Having Sandberg join the staff is not impossible, that’s for sure… That would be a unique circumstance, but I’m telling you, everybody is on the table.  I would never say anybody is not available…  That would be a unique situation that Ryne and I would have to talk about. And look, by the way, he’s got other opportunities from what I understand. It’s not only what I want, necessarily, he’s got a lot of things to deal with as well. But we’ll have to see.”  That was a polite and professional way of saying, “not a chance in hell and I hope he goes elsewhere”, but what else was he supposed to say given how badly Sandberg campaigned for the job the last 4 season as he toiled and earned his stripes in the minor leagues.

However, you cut it, Quade has his work cut out for him.  The team really isn’t all that good and with payroll concerns in mind, it will be hard for GM Jim Hendry to add more valuable pieces to the puzzle from the outside.  The Cubs should still be able to draw a free agent or too into the mix (Adam Dunn at 1st base, maybe a starting pitcher or maybe a seasoned veteran reliever), but they will primarily place high expectations on some of the young players that will get considerable playing time in 2011 – Starlin Castro, Tyler Colvin, Andrew Cashner, James Russell, Jeff Samardzija, Blake DeWitt and a few others.  If they put the pieces together, and the players continue to buy into the Quade magic, who knows, maybe we’ll see a team still in contention at the end of the summer.  It’s unlikely, but stranger things have happened…

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Cubs Players Continue to Back Quade Hire – Mike Quade Wrigley Field 10/20/10

Posted on 20 October 2010 by Lou

One thing we know for sure at this point – new Cubs Manager Mike Quade has the respect and backing of all of his players.  Just a day after Ryan Dempster spoke about about what a great manager Quade is, Dempster added a few more praises and Koyie Hill echoed Dempster’s sentiments.

Dempster pointed out that Quade has what it takes to win despite the pressures of managing the Cubs on the North Side of Chicago at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field where expectations are always sky high: “Winning cures everything.  It makes you feel better — it’s more fun to go to the ballpark.  I think he just brought that out in us before we started winning.  He made it fun when his record was 0-0.  There are a lot of pressures that come with playing here and managing here and coaching here, and I know he’s as good as anybody to handle that.”

Catcher Koyie Hill endorsed the Quade hire even though his childhood hero growing up was Ryne Sandberg, who lost out on the manager’s job to Quade – “Let’s get one thing straight — Sandberg was my favorite player growing up.  That’s why I wanted to be a Cub.  We have the same agent.  We’ve gone to dinner together over the last 12 years.  I love the guy.  He’s helped me a great deal, talking to him and being around him in Spring Training.  I’ve never played for Sandberg.  I was a big supporter of Quade.  The players, to a man, were big supporters of Quade.  There were a lot of great candidates, but we were all pulling for ‘Q’… I know Sandberg is an iconic figure in the Cubs organization, and we all understand that.  It’s nothing against him at all.  What you saw the last six weeks was as much a part of Q being in charge as it was us playing together.  I think it goes hand in hand and we’re all real happy for Q.”

While Quade is an unknown, it seems like he has the backing of management and his players heading into the 2011 season.  I know he built some good capital by winning 24 of 37 games down the stretch, but that was a different beast than during the 1st 4 months of the season.  The team had nothing to lose – they were out of playoff contention and they knew there was no chance of making the playoffs.  Without that pressure, sometimes it’s easier to take it one day at a time and put a good streak or 2 together.  I’m holding off judgment until we hit at least the All-Star Break in 2011.  Don’t get me wrong, I hope Quade succeeds.  But with that roster and the inability of the Cubs to do too much to tweak that roster because of so many bad contracts, I have my doubts.

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It’s Official – Cubs Hire Mike Quade as New Manager; Where Does the Move Leave Ryne Sandberg?

Posted on 19 October 2010 by Lou

In what was an expected move as we wrote about the other day, the Cubs hired Mike Quade to manage the Cubs for the next 2 seasons.  The Cubs made it official this morning and will have a press conference at 3PM today at the Friendly Confines to introduce their new skipper.  Quade managed the Cubs to a 24-13 record during the Cubs final 37 games after taking over for Lou Pinella who abruptly left the team to tend to pressing family matters on the home front.  The 24-13 mark was the 2nd best of any major league team during that time frame at the end of the 2010 MLB season.  Quade had been the Cubs 3rd base coach under Pinella since 2007 when Pinella was first hired.  Quade has spent 9 seasons with the Cubs organization and he managed the Cubs Triple-A Iowa franchise from 2003 through 2006.  Quade signed a 2-year deal with the Cubs and the Cubs have a club option for the 2013 MLB season as well.  I’m sure we’ll get some sound bites from Quade as the day progresses, but this what he said back in August after he had managed 7 games as the Cubs “interim” skipper — ”

Quade beat out Ryne Sandberg – the fan favorite Hall of Famer – who has been managing at the Cubs minor league level for the past 4 seasons.  Sandberg was named Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year after guiding Triple-A Iowa to an 82-62 record this past season.  He also led the Double-A Tennessee Cubs team to the Southern League championship series a year ago in 2009.  His first 2 years as a minor league manager were spent with the Class A Peoria Cubs. Sandberg envisioned managing in the Cubs farm system for a few years before taking over the reins of the Cubs major league team, but it doesn’t look like it is going to work out exactly that way. Sandberg had this to say about the Cubs decision to hire Quade on the Waddle & Silvy ESPN Radio 1000 show this morning: “From my standpoint, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed.  It’s a disappointing day for sure… I think now it’s digesting everything and kind of change the wheels and turn in a different direction.  I was focused on something, and it’s just taking it all in… I spent the four years in the minor leagues to manage at the major league level, and that’s where my heart is and that’s what my next step is.  That’s where I look next.  So I’ll take it a step at a time and see if there’s another opportunity out there and go from there.  I wish Mike Quade the best; I wish the Cubs the best and the Ricketts family.”  Without saying it, it’s clear that Sandberg will not be back with the Cubs next season.  Look for him to land a job at the major league level as a bench coach with a high profile manager to get some “major league” experience so he can take the next step forward in his managerial career.

Back to Quade, he clearly earned the respect of his players – both young and old.  He even benched up and coming star Starlin Castro for 2 games when he forget how many outs there were when he failed to run out a groundball and grounded into an inning-ending double play. So he expects 100% from his players all the time – whether you are a super star or the 25th man on the roster.  He expects accountability as well, which could be a good thing for this Cubs team. Cubs starter Ryan Dempster – whom I respect a ton – had nothing but the highest praise for Quade -”It’s awesome, they couldn’t have made a better hire.  He’s a great pick to manage this team… He did a great job when he was given the opportunity.  It’s a great move for the organization and for us as a team.  I’m extremely thrilled that he got the opportunity here, because if it was going to be here, it was going to be somewhere else… I know that Ryno has done a really good job in the minor leagues so far.  He’s only got a few years managing down there, and he’s done really well.  I’m sure the more experience he gets, the better he’s going to be.  He was a tremendous player and is a tremendous person, and that experience is only going to make him better.  I know people would love to see Sandberg back in a Cubs uniform and at Wrigley Field every day, and maybe that’s as much the infatuation as it is with who’s going to make the best manager.  And I’m not saying Ryno won’t be a great manager, I just know Mike is a tremendous one and we’re lucky to have him.”  WOW – a ringing endorsement for Quade from one of the most respected starting pitcher on the staff.

I’m still not entirely convinced he is the right man for the job long-term.  I keep going back to the fact that this guy might not even been considered a candidate if Pinella didn’t abruptly step down as the Cubs skipper on August 22nd.  Cubs GM Jim Hendry opted to go with Quade instead of bench coach Alan Trammell to run the team through the final 37 games of the season, so because he did a good job, he became the front runner for the job.  Does that mean that if Hendry had given the job to Trammell and the Cubs went 24-13, then he would have been the best man for the job?  It all seems a little odd to me, but this is just another example of why I think Hendry needs to go.  I cannot wait until his contract comes up after the 2012 MLB season.  Think that has anything to do with Quade’s contract being a 2-year deal.  It’s pretty clear that unless something dramatic happens over the next 2 seasons in a positive direction, both Hendry and Quadew ill be looking for work outside of the Cubs organization.

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Is Mike Quade the Front Runner for the Cubs Managerial Job?

Posted on 16 October 2010 by Lou

Is Mike Quade the front runner for the Cubs managerial job – all signs point towards a Quade hire in the upcoming weeks.

One candidate – Eric Wedge – was hired by the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

In a recent statement sent to Cubs season ticket holders about the 2010 MLB season and what lies ahead for the Cubs organization, the Ricketts Family singled out Mike Quade for the incredible work he did as Cubs interim manager during the final 37 games of the 2010 MLB season.  Quade guided the Cubs to a 24-13 mark during that stretch, which was the 2nd best record of any team in baseball during that period.  In the same letter to season ticket holders, Ricketts complemented 2 scouting employees for their solid work in the minor leagues, but he never mentioned the fact that Ryne Sandberg guided his club to within 1 game of the Pacific Coast League playoffs or the fact that he was named PCL Manager of the Year.  Are these telling signs that the Ricketts and GM Jim Hendry have already decided to go with Quade? Or are we reading way too much into this.

Things are all quiet on the North Side front these days.  Guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens.  I like the fact that Quade earned the respect of his players and that the organization likes Quade, who has a ton of major league coaching experience.  But the franchise is in a major state of transition right now – the next few years are make or break for the team – and they have young stars like Starlin Castro, Tyler Colvin, Andrew Cashner and James Russell that are on the brink of doing something great.  I would hate to put it all in the hands of a coach who has never managed in the major leagues before.  Come on, isn’t that the knock on Sandberg?  If Pinella hadn’t decided to leave in the middle of August, Quade would never have even gotten a chance to be the Cubs “interim manager”.  Would we even be talking about him as a candidate given the fact that he would have had no major league managerial experience either?  This has the bad taste of a Cubs debacle written all over it.  I hope Quade, Sandberg or the new Cubs manager proves me wrong, but I have a feeling that we are in for another long ride on the north side for the next few years…

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