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).