Mike Quade got the boot yesterday for arguing a phantom call at second base in the second inning yesterday. He says he knew he was going to be ejected from the moment he left the dugout – the call was that bad.

  • Of his decision to let Garza hit for himself in the seventh inning when the Cubs were on the wrong side of a one-run game, Quade reiterated his bizarre (but repeated) belief that his setup pitchers should be reserved for games where the Cubs lead or are tied: “Two outs, nobody on, and [I was] really not wanting to use [Sean Marshall] and not necessarily wanting to use [Kerry Wood or Carlos Marmol] in a behind situation.” In Quade’s sort-of defense, Garza was still dealing, and Quade said he felt like Garza had the best chance to shut the White Sox down for the eighth and ninth. He did, but the Cubs lost anyway because they didn’t have a run on the board.
  • The best news coming out of Marlon Byrd’s return to the Cubs yesterday? It wasn’t his 0-3 effort or play in center field. It was how “normal” it felt to him. It doesn’t even sound like he was thinking about the last big league game he played – the one where he took a fastball off the face.
  • Folks see better defensive days in Starlin Castro’s future, including Castro, himself. He hopes to win a Gold Glove at some point. He’s got the athleticism and sparkling-play ability to do it, but he’s going to have to nail down the routine plays first.
  • Jim Hendry says he can’t worry about his job security going forward, but he still tosses out the injury excuse for the 2011 Cubs’ performance when he gets the chance.
  • If you want to hear the official sunshine and roses position from the Cubs, just read a few quotes from team Sales and Marketing Officer Wally Hayward. The best? Probably this one, in which Hayward is discussing 2011 playoff tickets for the Cubs: “Let’s hope that we can deal with that situation, as well as planning a World Series parade. There are a lot of games left, my friend. And people are like, ‘How can you be so optimistic?’ San Francisco last year, they were here for our [next-to-last] homestand [in 2010], and they almost didn’t get in, right? Then they ran the table. The key is you got to get in. It’s not like anyone’s running away with the division.”

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