Finally, the Chicago Cubs have made a decision on who is going to be their next manager for 2011 and beyond. And, it comes as no surprise that the Chicago Cubs announced today that they would be removing the interim label from Mike Quade, and name him the next manager of the Chicago Cubs. The Chicago Cubs gave Mike Quade a two year contract, with a club option for the 2013 season. The Cubs will formally introduce Mike Quade as their manager at 3:00PM Central, and can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet, or heard on WGN Radio.
I can not say that I am surprised by the decision, because ever since the season ended, it appeared that Mike Quade was going to remain as the Chicago Cubs manager. Since Quade took over for the Chicago Cubs on August 23rd, he led the Cubs to a 24-13 record.
However it was not the record that impressed the Chicago Cubs about Quade. As Bruce Levine points out below, it was the changes that were made once Quade took over for Lou Piniella.
"The changes were not subtle. On Aug. 23, the team began to take early batting practice before regular batting practice, and it became routine. Quade made sure that players showed up for medicals on time, and if they didn’t they were benched. Veterans began to have better communication with the coaching staff, knowing two to three days in advance when they would have a day off. Lineups were posted six hours before game time, something the players had requested while Piniella was still on the job. All of these little things added up to a regiment that defined him to the Cubs front office as the right man for the job."
That should be encouraging news for Chicago Cubs fans. Because, unlike Dusty Baker and Lou Piniella, Quade actually holds his players accountable. The Chicago Cubs have consistently been criticized over recent teams for being lazy, and it appears that Quade is trying to shake that label from the Chicago Cubs.
Hall of famer, and Iowa Cubs manager Ryne Sandberg came in second behind Quade. Also, unlike what had been previously reported, Sandberg was not offered any other coaching position for the Chicago Cubs.
"“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed,” Sandberg said Tuesday on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000. “They told me it went down to the wire, and I was one of the last two guys standing and they made their decision. It’s a disappointing day for sure.“Right now it’s digesting everything and just kind of change the wheels and turn in a different direction. I was focused on something and today it’s just taking it all in. I spent the four years in the minor leagues to manage at the major league level, so I think that’s where my heart is, and that’s where my next step is. I think that’s where I look next.”"
This probably marks the end of Sandberg’s run with the Chicago Cubs as a manager. Because, from the sounds of it, it doesn’t appeared that Sandberg wants to return to the Chicago Cubs organization next season. In the end, the Chicago Cubs made the right decision in picking Quade over Sandberg. As much as Sandberg is beloved by the fans, Quade is the best candidate for the Chicago Cubs at this point in time.