Whether it was the lack of timely hitting, the injuries in the rotation, the struggles of usually-consistent veterans, or sloppy defensive play, Quade always had a line for how the team was going to use the travails of the early season to improve. Among the more cheery sentiments, Quade recently declared that the team was going to start hitting with men in scoring position eventually “just because.” The statistical likelihood of Quade’s position notwithstanding, his positivity seemed equal parts laudable and naive.
But no more. Mike Quade is pissed off. And he was all to happy to tell the world after Monday’s embarrassing 7-4 loss to the division-leading Reds.
“You get beat, you struggle, but that was embarrassing,” Quade said to reporters after the game. “That shit’s got to stop.”
“Nothing’s f*cking easy up here,’’ Quade went on. “You’ve got a nice 4-0 lead, Z’s cruising and everything’s hunky-dory. I got f*cking news for you: It ain’t routine till the freaking thing is over.”
“We’ve got to make damn sure we’re looking for every opportunity to add on when we get a chance and we’re looking for every opportunity to close things out when we get the chance. We’re not good enough to coast at all. Any aspect of the game. Any of us.”
Presumable Quade is including himself in the sentiment, given it was his decision – or non-decision – to leave in Zambrano, who, although he cruised through five innings, was getting smacked around by the Reds in the sixth, for two or three batters too many. Pairing that decision with the decision to bring in Marcos Mateo, rather than stalwarts Kerry Wood or Sean Marshall, to try and stop the bleeding in a still-close game, and Quade deserves plenty of the blame in this one.
But, of course, Quade doesn’t play the games.
Mike Quade isn’t the one booting balls in the outfield. And he isn’t the one who can’t get a hit with men on. And he isn’t the one throwing meatballs.
To that end, it’s good to see him finally coming to grips with the reality of his situation: this team has serious flaws. Getting angry about it probably isn’t going to help, but neither was blowing sunshine up everyone’s collective ass.