There has been a lot of speculation regarding whether or not manager Mike Quade and general manager Jim Hendry will return next season in their respective positions. Quade was never viewed as a long-term solution at the Cubs managerial post. The belief is that Quade will be a bridge until the Cubs find an established manager when the team is back into contention. Though, Quade should have never been the Cubs manager in the first place. The decision to go with Quade was that of Hendry’s. As it turns out, Quade may remain with the Cubs past this season and Hendry may be out of a job.
Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated reports that Mike Quade appears to be safe and will start the 2012 season as the Cubs manager, and Hendry’s fate has yet to be determined. Heyman cites some baseball insiders that say that Hendry is not at fault for the bloated contracts on the Cubs roster. Also in Heyman’s note on the Cubs, he points out that chairman Tom Ricketts is very cautious when it comes to making baseball decisions. That would figure to bode well for Hendry, as Ricketts may put-off the decision to make a change at the general manager position until Hendry’s contract expires after next season.
Though, that should not be ringing endorsement for Quade. Tom Ricketts may not have the intention of firing Quade, but that may because Ricketts has given Hendry the final say to make any baseball move he sees fit. Obviously, Hendry is not going to fire Quade at any point. Because, that would be yet another bad hire for the Cubs general manager. Hendry can not afford to admit that he made another mistake in hiring the Cubs manager, as that would cost him his job. But if Hendry is in fact fired after the season, then Quade may follow Hendry out the door. It is extremely unlikely that a new general manager would come to the Cubs organization without bring his guys with him. Quade would not fit that criteria. Meaning he likely would be as good as gone if the Cubs hire a new general manager.
Mike Quade is only a first-year manager, and I will be the first to admit that I may be judging him too harshly. But at the same time, this is the major leagues. This is not the minor leagues where most of Quade’s experience comes from. There are numerous cases this season where Quade has been overmatched by the opposing team’s manager. Quade is a good minor league manager and even a good coach to have on the major league staff, but, he has yet to prove that he is a good major league manager.
I still have a hard time believing, though, that Hendry will be fired. If Tom Ricketts has proven anything over his first couple of seasons as Cubs chairman, that is that he is loyal. Up to this point, Ricketts has yet to voice any displeasure with Hendry as his general manager. That may be viewed as politicially correct, but Ricketts has dropped several hints that Hendry will be the man leading the charge this off-season when the Cubs attempt to become contenders again. Hopefully, Ricketts is wise enough to hire a baseball guy to overview Hendry instead of the “all-business’ c