On Sunday, Starlin Castro lost track of the number of outs in the 7th inning of an 18-5 drubbing at the hands of the Mets. He hit a grounder, believing there to be two outs, and jogged to first – he was promptly made the latter part of a double play. Interim manager Mike Quade was displeased, and showed his displeasure by benching Castro – possibly his hottest hitter – for Monday’s game against the Astros.
“Every so often it’s better for a player to observe than participate,” Quade said. “I thought he really should watch a game or so and sit with some very smart people on my staff and kind of keep an eye on things and maybe reflect a little bit. He’s had so much thrown at him, but I think sometimes step back, take a look at things, give a guy a couple days … lapses of concentration and stuff, maybe he can reflect on.”
It was a tough-love move that some in Quade’s position might not even consider, knowing it would hurt his chances of winning without having his hottest hitter in the lineup. And with a limited window of opportunity to prove what he can do, every game is magnified for Quade down the stretch.
The Cubs improved to 9-4 under Quade after Monday’s 5-4 comeback win over the Astros. In the long run, he may have improved his chances of winning the job in 2011 by benching Castro for a couple of days.
Hendry had to be impressed that Quade not only dropped the hammer on Castro, but did it in a manner that showed he could be stern without damaging the kid’s confidence. Chicago Tribune.
Previously, I’d questioned the wisdom of allowing a candidate for the permanent job to serve as the interim manager, where his incentives (makes decisions to win immediately) may not align with the organization’s incentives (do whatever is necessary to improve the 2011 club). Here, there can be no doubt that Quade was doing what was best for the future of the organization. Not only did he teach Castro a lesson; he did it while talking about it in all the right ways.
The fact that Darwin Barney had a couple hits in Castro’s stead was just gravy.