What to think about the hiring of Mike Quade?? Well, let’s start with the details… He’s getting a two-year contract from the Cubs with an option for 2013. At this point, no money considerations have been discussed.
I like the deal. I’ve been struggling to evaluate the move on its merits alone. As a natural born cynic, I’ve tried to distance myself from my perceptions of the Cubs’ potential motives of hiring Ryne Sandberg (should they have done so). Let’s face it, Ryno has proven himself as manager in minors the last few years. Hiring him would have been more than just a public relations move as I’ve insinuated to my friends. Honestly, Sandberg wouldn’t have been a bad choice at all.
But when it came down to it, I favored hiring Mike Quade as manager of the Cubs and now that the deal is done, I still like it. Forget the 24-13 record he posted at the end of 2010, the 53-year old Evanston, IL native has the goods without it. Quade has experience. He’s managed a prolific 2,378 games in the minors. But more importantly, he has a reputation of possessing strong leadership skills and being a good on-the-field manager, all which comes with experience.
Earlier, I said forget Quade’s 24-13 run with the Cubs in 2010. But maybe don’t dismiss it completely. The Cub players responded quite well to Quade’s leadership and even said so to the press. The cynics among us have said that perhaps it was more the lack of Piniella that players were responding to and that is a point well taken. Yet, no one can dismiss the support that he got both implicitly and explicitly.
What does Cub Nation think about the Quade hiring?? If you take Bleed Cubbie Blue’s vast readership as any indication, you can check out its poll on the hiring of Quade. BCB readers support it… kinda. A whopping 38% supported the hiring of Quade while 19% didn’t (41% didn’t really have an opinion. An indecisive bunch, these Cub fans).
A few questions remain:
- How much of a leash does Quade have with a rebuilding 2011 Cubs team?
- For that matter (and this is relevant, of course), what of Jim Hendry? Is he on the hot seat?
- Will Cub fans learn to embrace Mike Quade when he won’t be able to replicate his 24-13 success in 2011 (let’s face it, the biggest Quade fans out there know he can’t do that)?
- What happens to Ryne Sandberg? There have been rumors you might see him on the coaching staff of the Cubs.
At any rate, I wish Mike Quade well. He’s (officially) stepping into some big shoes and doesn’t have an easy row to hoe in 2011.