Jim Hendry Gives Mike Quade a (Dreaded) Vote of Confidence

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. But 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).

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

30 responses to “Jim Hendry Gives Mike Quade a (Dreaded) Vote of Confidence”

  1. Raymond Robert Koenig

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

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    1. 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

      1. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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