As the Chicago Cubs are set to play their final game of the season today, all indications are that Mike Quade will be the guy for the Chicago Cubs full-time managerial spot. While it is a two horse race between Sandberg and Quade, it does not appear that Sandberg ever had a true chance at getting the Chicago Cubs managerial spot. Barry Rozner, Baseball insider for the Daily Herald and co-host of “Hit and Run” on 670 the score AM, reported today on Hit and Run that he has been told by his Cubs sources that Quade is the guy. Rozner went on to say that the Chicago Cubs could hire Quade within the next ten days to two weeks.
While things could change between now and then, it appears that the Chicago Cubs played Sandberg, much like they did when they originally interviewed him for the managerial opening after the 2006 season. The biggest reason the Cubs are turned off by Sandberg is that he does not have major league managing experience. Meaning if they truly wanted Sandberg to be their manager, they probably would have named him as the interim manager after Piniella left instead of Quade. Which probably pushed Quade past Sandberg as the top candidate to fill the vacancy.
While most Cubs fans want Sandberg, I’m sure once they observe Quade they will begin to like what he is doing as a manager. You can never put much stock into a team’s record in September, but Quade’s strong record is not the reason why he is the favorite.
The biggest thing that Quade has done since taking over for Piniella, is how he has handled the players. The biggest example is how he is using the bullpen, and deciding when to leave a starter in or take him out. Also he has developed a very good rapport with a lot of the players. He is not afraid to bench a player if he makes mistakes on the field. He also tells players when they are playing, and when they are not, something Lou Piniella almost never did. He also has gained the respect from the young players on the team, as well as the veterans of the team.
I think that in time, Quade will end being a good choice, if in fact he is hired as the Chicago Cubs new manager. He has showed that he can handle the media, as well as the pressures of managing in a big market.