On average, the vote of confidence from management precedes a coach or manager’s dismissal by no more than two weeks. No, that’s not a real statistic, but it feels like it could be right.

Monday evening, Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade got his vote from GM Jim Hendry.

“Obviously [Quade] didn’t flip a light switch from last year to the beginning of this season and start managing differently or handling people differently,” Hendry said. “We didn’t play very well out of the gate, usually you can correct some of that.”

“[The injuries are] unfortunate. Nobody has eight starting pitchers in their system who can help, and even guys like [Jeff] Baker and Reed [Johnson] could have helped.┬áBut I don’t dump any of that on Mike Quade,” Hendry continued, before adding the dreaded phrase. “He’s certainly going to do a fine job here.”

I joke about the dreaded vote of confidence, but, at this pace, I would be surprised if Mike Quade is the Cubs’ manager next year – but not because Jim Hendry is going to fire him. I take Hendry at his word that he intends to keep Quade in the dugout.

Some folks have suggested that Jim Hendry might scapegoat Mike Quade to save his own job, but I think that’s highly unlikely for at least two reasons. First, simply, Jim Hendry is a super nice guy. Call me naive, but I just can’t see a guy like Hendry doing something like that.

Second, Hendry has tied his own future to Quade – the third manager Hendry has picked to lead the Cubs. If Quade is a failure, then so, too, is Hendry. It would take some serious snake oil for Hendry to convince Tom Ricketts that Quade was a mistake and needs to go – but that Hendry is still the right guy to lead the front office.

I think it’s more likely that, if Quade is gone by 2012, it’s because Hendry is gone, too. And the new GM wants to bring in his own manager (which would be the right thing to do, unless the new GM is independently convinced that Quade is the right guy for the job).

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    So far Ricketts has bought everything else Hendry has tried to sell him. Maybe Jimbo is a snake oil salesman.

  • CUB5

    No reason for him to go right now. We are 11 games out right now and I don’t see us making a run with our play/injuries. Let the kids play and try to trade some of the hamstringing contracts like Z and Soriano. Then we can go into the off-season looking for a quality manager and players.

    • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

      Which is exactly why it would be nice to see Quade go *now*.
      He doesn’t know how/like to use the kids.
      He throws them all over the lineup, switches up their defensive positions, not allowing them to find a rhythm either at the plate or in the field.
      And that’s *when* he plays them at all.

  • http://bleachernation.com ricosanto

    Ricketts BIGGEST Mistake was letting Hendry hire Quade, the Great Pumkin Head, Ricketts really wanted Ryno but let Hendry have his wish and look where it got us.
    Tell me Ryno would not have better , for marketing and teaching players like Castro how to play the game right.Every Power Rankings have the Cubs 30th out 30. Quade was decent RA _RA Coach but not a manager.

  • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/5386b75c5ecdcd1a7490dde9cd6dd3fa?s=80 Jeff

    Hendry will be here through at least next year, and so will Quade. There is no more purpose in discussing things, Ricketts is convinced he has the right guys in place, and Hendry is convinced that he and Quade are both doing good jobs aside from the injuries. The more these guys speak and pat themselves on the back, the sicker the feeling I get in my stomach about the future of this team.

    • Ace

      I’d take that bet.

      • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

        And I wouldn’t! Jeff will be proved right unfortunately.

        Ace, are you getting lots of automated responses?
        I swear to god this picture-building thing annoys the f-word out of me!

        • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

          Yeah, this is kind of a drag. Can’t you just autodirect all the spam to the Aaron Miles thread?

      • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

        And I wouldn’t! Jeff will be proved right unfortunately.

        Ace, are you getting lots of automated responses?
        I swear to god this picture-building thing annoys the f-word out of me!

        And it just rejected my post because my picture wasn’t accurate enough!

      • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

        That double – post was not my doing…

        • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

          You must have built the picture a little TOO well, Ian.

          • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

            I’d respond but I’m sick of putting pictures together.

            But seriously – I tried to post that ONE reply, made the picture, hit “submit” then it said “sorry your picture was inaccurate” so I redid the picture only to find it posted my comment anyway!

            • Ace

              Hmm, it’s not supposed to be on comments. I’ll fix that.

              • Ace

                Ok, is it gone?

                • Michigan Goat

                  Bye bye picture time, and I was just starting to enjoy the BN Art Project

                • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

                  All I see is egg nog.

  • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

    Okay, I guess I’ll be that guy since no one else is.

    Is Quade to be fired because, as manager, he’s responsible for the team’s poor performance? Or because he’s a terrible manager who makes bad managerial decisions? And no, “he’s a minor league manager” doesn’t count in this argument, as we’re going to use evidence, examples, and reason rather than subjective, meaningless nonsense.

    If you want Quade fired for the first reason… I guess you have a right to that opinion. In the end, he’s the guy. But you would have to convince me that he is responsible for the Stinks before I would go along with firing him just because he’s in charge. There are other, better targets for our frustration.

    If you’re against his managing, show me why it’s so bad that he should be fired. Managers take chances, make calls, that in hindsight can suck. But is there a rationale for decisions that didn’t work out?

    1. Handling of young players.

    I understand the “Ace” view that a scorching hot player in the minors might be wasted coming up to get a few at bats at the big league level. But I also understand Quade when he says that bringing these guys up to the “real deal” -even with limited playing time- is of vital importance to their development. Not only is this true on an individual level (you think any of these guys coming in off the bench would rather get “regular” playing time at AA?) but you’re creating a system that rewards hard work. Kill it in the minors, you might get a chance. So I understand the rationale Q uses for these decisions.

    2. Pitching (specifically, leaving in starters)

    First, our starters have sucked. For the most part. We have one of the worst records for starters giving a decent number of innings. Added up over time, that taxes your bullpen. Every manager I’ve ever seen faces criticism for leaving in a starter 1 or 2 batters too long. It happens, and it’s a gut call. If that starter gets a strikeout, the manager wins. If a reliever comes in and blows it, you would blame the manager for not letting the starter stay in longer. We’ve had a guy who destroyed young arms already, and Q is a far cry from that. While there are a few instances where I might have made a different call than Q in terms of who to pitch and when, I rarely fault his reason for doing something and realize that he has a better grasp of the team and players than I do. And on a related note, Q has rarely surprised me with his choice of reliever. I can predict, nearly every time, what reliever is going to go in and when. Whether that’s a good thing or not…

    3. Pitching to Albert Pujols.

    Almost indefensible. He had just turned red-hot, loves murdering Cubs, and was tossing out homers like it was batting practice. Never. Underestimate. Pujols. So he was 0-12 against Rodrigo Lopez… who cares? It’s Pujols. Fool me once, shame on Q. Fool me, er, shame me, uh, just… don’t fool… never mind. Bush ruined that quote for me. Hopefully Q learned his lesson on this one.

    I’m not saying he’s the greatest manager ever, or that I agree with every decision he makes, just that I want evidence and more reasons for the fault of “The Stinks” to be placed at his feet.

    • Michigan Goat

      Caleb, nice quality post. I think the next GM should have the final decision on his future and the ability to hire his manager

      • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

        Thanks goat. I completely agree- one of the biggest decisions (and litmus tests) for a new GM is to see what kind of manager they want on the team. And, depending on who the new GM is, they might have contacts or access to someone that would otherwise be unattainable. Who knows, right? Either way, it would be a good glimpse into the decision making of a new GM.

        I’m thinking of applying for the job, and making decisions based on community feedback from this site.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Ace

          I call Vice GM!

          • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb


          • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

            Can I be in charge of the drug control policy?

            • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

              You can’t be in charge of drug control policy, but you can be in charge of drug policy. Also, your first order of business is lowering beer prices at Wrigley while keeping revenue constant. Go.

              • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

                Awesome. Caleb, you’re a great boss.

                As for your request, just make the beer saltier. Folks will drink more of it. ‘Cause they’re thirsty. Or something. Yeah….

                Or, reduce beer proces by 25%, and then have hot cocktail waitresses going through the stands selling Jack Daniels’ shots. Teaspoon-sized $5 shots = revenue, baby!

                • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

                  Good ideas, both.

                  How about they open Wrigley 3 hours before a game (serving beer) and stay open 3 hours after? Beer could be cheaper, but we’d sell a lot more of it. Sure, we’d take some business away from the Wrigleyville bars, but they can suck it up.

                  We just have to replace “old fun-lover” Bud Selig with someone more amenable to beer drinking. I say Charlie Sheen.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Ace

      Great stuff, Caleb. To the first point, I’m not sure how much I even blame Quade. He doesn’t make the roster decisions (at least not unilaterally), and he’s got a strong incentive to play the “best” players, rather than the “right” players – i.e., he wants to win (a 4th place finish means a lot to him, even if many of us would rather the Cubs just finish last).

      He’s gotten better with his reliever selection. His worst offense early on was absolutely, positively refusing to use Wood/Marshall/Marmol in anything but games Cubs were leading. I guess, after a while, when the Cubs aren’t leading too many games, his hand was forced.

      • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

        Thanks Ace. This site has the best collection of thoughtful Cub-thinkers on the net. I enjoy taking opposing viewpoints and exploring them, and always appreciate when people do the same. And I completely agree on the roster decision point.

        And yes- I know he fell in love with his “animals” situation (you remember that’s what he called them, right?). Like you said, if you’re never in those close games, the point is moot. Plus, their invincibility has been tested. I don’t like that it created a tiered system in the bullpen, either. It felt like everybody but those 3 felt like they were the “B” squad. Which, in some respects is true, but has become less true with the occasional faults of Wood, Marmol, Marshall and the sometimes brilliant performances of other guys (looking at you, Jeckyl/Hyde Samardzhaisahzia).

        On a related note, the last 2 games have been quite fun. Which is good, since now I’m not going to be seeing Jeter hit 3000 on Friday at Wrigley.

        Speaking of, what do I get for holding up a “Bleachernation.com RULEZ!” sign from my first row upper deck seats above the on deck circle?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Ace

          If you get a picture of it, you get a post that says “Caleb RULEZ!”

  • Jerry McClellan

    I have to disagree with Hendry’s assertion that Quade isn’t doing things different from last year. I think he is coddling the veterans and screwing over the younger players. He did neither last year. Both Hendry and Quade should be gone as soon as possible.

  • http://Bleachernation Ramy16

    I don’t for see quade or hendry past the all-star break if so he’s hanging on my the hair of his nuts..also I really like the play of Lou montanez this year..he’s been playing great..Quade should start him more in RT field.than playing fukodummy

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