After yesterday’s 9-1 loss to the Phillies – again, the Cubs lost by eight(!) runs – Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade openly derided his young middle infielders, Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney in the media for an early game mistake that led to a run. In the first inning, the duo was confused about who would take a one-out popup, which dropped. The Phillies subsequently scored two runs (did I mention that they Phillies ultimately won by eight runs?).

“I look back at this whole game and look at that play,” Quade angrily said after the game. “The sun’s been in the same damn spot for however long Wrigley Field’s been here. And those are the kind of mistakes [that you can’t accept]. There are certain ones you’ll accept, and there are other ones that have to be taken care of.”

Setting aside the cosmological mistake in Quade’s statement (the Earth moves, both spinning and orbiting around the Sun, thus changing the Sun’s apparent position in the sky on a day to day basis), this is the kind of mistake that happens to even veteran players. It’s rare, but it happens. And it didn’t even cost the Cubs the game. Still, Quade believed that the play was a tone-setter for the rest of the game.

“The sad part is, as mad as I was, there was communication,” Quade continued. “They talked. Cassie decided he had it, so Barney backed off, as he definitely should have done. But the bottom line is, we’ve got to catch that ball, and if there’s any question in Cassie’s mind, then he’s got to let Barney take it, period.”

You’ll note, this is at least the third time Quade has publicly called out his 21-year-old shortstop for a mistake and/or a perceived lack of effort. The first two times, it really grated on me, and this time is no different. Why exactly Quade continues to set a double standard of expectations for his “young” players and his “veterans” is unclear, but it can’t make for a particularly comfortable clubhouse.

In some ways, I suppose I can understand where Quade is coming from. What’s he’s (poorly) trying to communicate, is that, with a young player, you want to nip bad habits in the bud. With a veteran player, a bad play is either indicative of a momentary hiccup, or an old dog to whom you can’t teach new tricks. I’m not saying I agree with Quade, but I can understand it.

But even that doesn’t mean you go to the media and openly advocate one set of rules for your “young” players, and another for your “veterans.”

Here’s the video of Quade’s rant, if you’d care to see it:

  • Fishin Phil

    I remember when the Cubs had a A-ball affiliate here in Rockford, guess who the manager was back in those days? That’s right, the old Q-ball himself. I really liked him back then. I wanted to like him when he took over as interim manage of the Cubs. I wanted to like him at the beginning of this year. Now, I just want to kick him in the crotch.

  • Goat

    Every day Quade seems to find a way to prove he has no idea what he’s doing. Between he and Hendry, I don’t think the Cubs could ever put a winning team together. The scary thing is, I have a terrible suspicion they’ll both be retained. Quade, Hendry, Riggens must go in my eyes. Go get Billy Beane, give Sandberg a chance (or anyone who will REQUIRE fundentals and accountability from ALL players) and find a pitching coach who does more than stand around looking like a 70’s porn star. What’s Leo Mazzone up to these days?

    • Brett

      Ha. Riggins does look like that…

  • Chuck of Delraybia

    Tough line to take with your only all star.

    • Brett

      Technically, Quade was an All-Star, too. Which, yes, is silly.

  • LouCub

    It hasn’t been just with Castro and Barney…Colvin was his bitch and scapegoat earlier and he ignored LeMehieu and Castillo while they were up in the bigs completely..The Q ball is a douchebag!!!!

  • Alek

    It seems kinda weird that he keeps calling castro out for the few plays that he has either messed up on or shown poor effort on, yet he has not looked into the mirror lately and addressed the probably hundreds of managerial mistakes he has made by now…

  • LouCub

    Alek, he can’t look in the mirror without being blinded by the glare off his buffed and waxed i guess he cant see his Jim Hendry

  • pfk

    While Q is spot on with his criticism, but he shouldn’t go public with it. I’m getting a bit worried about Castro. The “he’s still young” thing, although true, is starting to wear thin. His defense hasn’t improved one iota and I’m getting nervous he may be a fielding clod like Soriano. I was in Dallas when Soriano played second for the Rangers and went to many games and I hate to say this, but the fielding prowess is eerily similar. Great play one moment, total flub the next. Multiple brain lapses. And lately, I’ve noticed him dogging it running to first. I still give him a bit of a pass but he needs to start showing improvement.

  • chris margetis

    I have to say, I watched the Q press conference last night and I really didn’t think it could be classified as a “rant”, other than the fact that it went on slightly too long. I think it’s important to remember this guy’s reputation as an instructor. Say what you want about his decisions, success at this point, etc (all of which can legitimately be questioned), I think he’s truely trying to improve these young guys and hopefully leave an impression upon them that work ethic and the mental part of the game are what separate the all stars from the good players. My dad was a football coach for 22 years and the one thing I remember him telling me when I would bitch about getting yelled at was this: when the coach stops yelling at you, it means he doesn’t think you are worth paying attention to. I think Q thinks Castro in particular has all the tools of a potential HOF player, and doesn’t want to see the attitude and effort poisoned by some of the veterans, whom he pays no attention to as he knows they have long been lost causes when it comes to improvement. Is it right or wrong? Tough to say, effective managment in any industry dictates that you realize what motivates each individual under you and treat them accordingly. Unfortunately Q is reaching GW Bush status these days (this is no means a political stance also as I didn’t vote for Bush) where EVERY ounce of blame for anything that goes wrong is being laid on him. For all the Ryno supporters out there, this is exactly why he wasn’t given the job as it was a no win situation. The chances of this team competing this year were very slim, and while maybe the team under him would have been a few wins better, they still more than likey would have been pretty poor and all this venom would be being spewed on a HOF Cub hero, which amazingly would have made the Cubs look even worse than they do currently. The Cubs would be bashed for setting Ryno up for failure, not realizing he wasn’t ready, etc, etc. Q wasn’t much more than a lame duck hire, with an emphasis on instructing young guys, sad as that is to say.

    • Ron

      If he was brought in to be an instructor instead of a manager than he has failed even worse than as a coach. This is fundamentally the worst team in baseball and we are all dumber now for watching it. Not really but really, he is awfull and this type of play can set a new manager back two years instilling discipline and fundamentals. Everything is about muscle memory and repeatedly doing the right thing. There is not one area where they are improved as a team from last year.

  • Mike on Waveland

    I understand Q’s frustration. But to go out and blame Castro and Barney for setting the tone of a ballgame in the first inning……are you kidding me? That is just as insane as blaming Bartman for the Cubs losing the 2003 pennant. I think he wants the errors to stop, but if he is upset over errors, then let’s blame everyone publicly. Why not Soriano? Or Ramirez for not hustling out of the box? Or Matt Garza, who has a handful of errors this season? Or better yet, himself, for making the error of leaving pitchers in waaaaaaay to long! There needs to be a change. I don’t think Hendry needs to go, but Q is not having a good Freshman year!

  • Caleb

    In fact, both the sun and the earth are constantly in motion.

    I understand the double-standard argument, and I’m trying to see what Quade is thinking. Maybe when guys like Soriano drop a ball, he figures “no shit- he sucks” and let’s it go, but when Cassie does it, he knows he can do better?

    Just a thought.

    • Brett

      Oh God, PLEASE, don’t call him Cassie!

      • NECubsfan

        Cassie Fitzpatrick gave me crabs in high school. I HATE that name!

        • Brett

          You, too?

        • Laura

          Oh my god. You just made me blow snot out of my nose.

      • hardtop

        i know! Between Quade’s unfair treatment of Castro and emsculating him publicly by calling him a name appropriate for maybe a small female dog, he may be ruining the kid before our very eyes. i hope one of the veteran leaders (pena, byrd?) are taking Castro under their wing and telling him to stick it out for the rest of the season when quade will be shit canned or shanked.
        i still like el comandante for Starlin, I think it’s apprpriate in more ways than just the Fidel Castro thing. How cool would it be to hear the cubs new coach call the kid el comandante in every press conference! ha.

        • Fishin Phil

          Hardtop, How about “El Jefe” – “The Boss”.

          • hardtop

            i like it, but i think the not so spanish savy amoung us will wonder why we are calling him “the jeff” 😉

            • Brett

              Starlin Castro: The Jeff.

          • Brett

            Or, “La Revolucion.”

  • jstraw

    My hatred for Quade has reached “white-hot.” It’s time to throw him on the pyre.

  • miggy80

    Doesn’t Q-bert know “that the sun don’t go down it’s just an illuision casued by world spining around.”

    • Brett

      You run, and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking.

      • TWC


        • miggy80

          Yes! Maybe Q-bert needs a big doobie and listen to Pink Floyd and The Flaming Lips. Than maybe he can use his illusions to come up with a new plan. Threw in a GNR reference just for good messure.

          • TWC

            Way to cover all your rock & roll bases, Migs!

        • hardtop

          this coming from the guy with the grateful dead skull…
          dont you live in the bay area too?
          please don’t tell me you live ina school bus 😉

          • TWC

            Heh. I do indeed live on beautiful California coast, just south of SF.

            But I don’t *live* in a school bus — not anymore. Look at me, man: now I DRIVE the bus!

            • hardtop

              do you drive an old folks bus?

              “hey, mellow out old dudes or i’ll jam this baby into a river”

              • TWC

                I should have also mentioned that I got held back in fourth grade. Twice.

  • Butcher

    Quade has made a lot of mistakes this season, but calling Castro, “Cassie” is pretty close to the top of the list.

    • miggy80

      personally my jaw hit the floor when I read that.

  • RoughRiider

    Since when have the young players set the tone of a game? That is giving two young players a lot of credit and responsibilities. The veteran players are supposed to be the leaders by example, not the young ones. I have no problem with Quade getting on players for making mistakes, especially when they are young and still learning. After all, we know players like Soriano aren’t going to get any better. But, it should be done in the dugout or the clubhouse, not through the media. There are 23 players in Mesa and 18 in Boise older than Castro so you can expect some mistakes. If Quade wants to get on someone in the media get on Soriano for swinging at pitches outside and in the dirt. Or the fact he’s had only 1 sacrifice fly all year. How about all the Cub managers, coaches and instructors in the major and minor leagues for not teaching? Throwing Barney and Castro under the bus shows desperation and a lack of self control.

  • terry

    some mistakes you accept? what is this idiot’s problem, no mistakes should be accepted. rather it be rookie’s or veterens. come on qbag needs to get off of his pathetic ways. i suppose castro is the reason the cubs have lost all their games this year? what a dumb ass

  • chris margetis

    I’m still a Quade supporter, however, the “Cassie” thing is damn close to being grounds for dismissal in my book.

  • Jeff

    I’m still waiting for him to point out that Carlos Pena had TWO errors on ONE play that lead DIRECTLY TO RUNS. No mention of it, just some chick named Cassie. I can only assume that he’s still ticked about Starlin ditching him when he had his problems with the TSA over All Star weekend.

    • hardtop

      or how about dempster not giving them a chance to win!
      im not saying a coach should not preach excellence, but it needs to be the same for everyone. even after bad at bats, quades gets on castro in the dug out… but i havent once see him talk to soriano after stiking out with RISP. Im really done with this guy. if they make a late season run of plus 500 baseball, there’s a chance he may keep his job… id rather finish 30 games under than have quade back next year.

  • ry

    wow, can the players blame the bald dumbass for the 8 or 9 games he has cost the cubs for being a complete outcoached moron this year?