I’m going to take a break from the free agent posts for a minute because I wanted to talk to you about Mike Quade.
I’m sure most of you by now, if you’ve been paying attention to ESPN, that the Cubs have just fired Mike Quade as manager of the team.
Now let me first say that I completely understand why Epstein fired him. The team, as a whole, as Epstein has said, wants to have a “clean slate.” Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and the Cubs organization want to get rid of everything they possibly can from the Jim Hendry era. This includes Mike Quade too.
Here’s the thing, though: While yes, Mike Quade went 71-91 in his first full season as manager for a team that has spent 130 million dollars the past three straight years, he’s also managing a team that has severely overpaid many of the players on this $130+ million team. He, and the Cubs organization, have had to deal with guys like: Alfonso Soriano, a $136 million bust who has been injured a number of times and has failed to produce a single year in which he’s been worth the $19 million a year they spend on him (and by the way, they still have him for another 3 MORE years!); there’s Carlos Zambrano, who certainly has the talent, but has also had hid share of anger management and clubhouse problems over the years, and he’s getting paid $19 million); you paid Carlos Pena $10 million to serve as a transitional player in order to prepare for the attempt at getting Pujols or Fielder in this year’s free-agent market; you have a catcher in Geovany Soto, who has a good deal of power in his bat, also does a poor job fielding (committed most errors at the catcher position this year with 13) and has a batting average and on-base percentage that goes up-and-down each year…
Anyway, I think you get my point. In short, this team is a huge mess. Quade,, despited finishing 10 games under .500, still did it with a team that’s just a huge mess. I don’t think any manger, even if they did bring in Ryne Sandberg in, would have been capable of taking this team and make it a contender. I honestly don’t.
So yes, I think Quade does deserve another chance to be a manager in the major leagues. Give him a more capable team, a team that’s not a mess, and I’m sure he can succeed. He’s spent the last 25 years as a minor-league manager, first/third base coach, and bench coach for a number of team. He’s a former two-time minor-league manager of the year, has won a Caribbean World Series, and a AAA World Series, as well. Heck, back in 2007, Quade was one of five finalists to get the position as Cubs manager before Lou Pinella came out of retirement and took the job. I’m pretty sure Quade knows what he’s doing. Quade’s accomplishments and experience shouldn’t be overlooked by one bad year with a team that was already a mess before and during his tenure (and possibly after).
Now I’m not a general manager or an owner of a baseball organization, but if I need a manager for 2012, I would actually take a look at Quade now and at least have some interest in hiring him as manager of my team. I’m just saying…