Mike Quade’s criticism of young middle infielders Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney certainly wasn’t the harshest criticism they’ve received in their careers, nor will it be the last criticism they receive. But the public nature of it is what’s really getting to me. Maybe if today wasn’t an off-day, the comments wouldn’t have created such a tempest.

  • During his comments, Mike Quade actually said these words: “They need to understand the awesome responsibility of playing second and short at the big league level. I think they do, but it’s more than understanding. You gotta perform.” Swap in “managing” for “playing second and short,” and Quade just wrote his own Big League obituary.
  • For what it’s worth, Darwin Barney agreed with his manager’s criticism. “I agree with him 100 percent,” Barney said. “(He and Castro) handle every ball, relays, throws into the infield. Everything goes through us. We have to be more energized. You look at this team and you say to yourself that you have to decided ‘how can we be better?'”
  • Quade has suggested that Randy Wells’ spot in the Cubs’ rotation might be jeopardy. “He needs to make progress,” Quade said. “I need to see him pitch like he has in the past. I’m hoping for as good an outing as we’ve seen from him.” Setting aside my personal feelings about how, in the past, Wells has been one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball, I have to ask: if Wells is yanked from the rotation, who replaces him? Ramon Ortiz? What the hell good does that do? If anyone but a YOUNG guy who has a small chance of being a starter for the Cubs in the future is used to replace Wells in the rotation, I’m going to flip my freaking lid.
  • David Haugh says at least part of the reason Tom Ricketts and Pat Gillick may not have “officially” had a conversation is because Gillick remains a nominal employee of the Phillies, and such a conversation would be tampering. I have to disagree with Haugh – that’s not a reason that the conversation hasn’t happened. That’s a reason to strongly deny that the conversation happened.
  • Phil Rogers says the Yankees’ theoretical interest in Alfonso Soriano has dried up in the last few weeks, what with Soriano sucking and all.
  • Bruce Levine hosted one of his chats earlier this week. Usually I recap them, but I didn’t find anything particularly new or useful in this one (and, I hate to say, there are some mistakes). But, I figured I’d at least pass you the chat in a bullet, as it theoretically has some Cubs rumors in it. Here’s Levine’s list of the five most likely Cubs to be traded.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer put together a retread list of Jim Hendry’s best and worst moves as GM. You can literally guess every single thing on the list before clicking that link.
  • The Cubs have made at least one error in nine straight games. That’s the longest such stretch for them since 1987.
  • For those of you who enjoy Tim Sheridan’s Boys of Spring – an invaluable site in the Spring, I must say – he’s trying to produce/promote a documentary, and needs folks’ help. Tim is the PA announcer in Mesa for Spring Training, so he certainly has a unique voice on the subject of Cubs’ baseball. If you pledge to help, you get some cool free stuff, too. Here’s a trailer of sorts for the doc, so give it a look:

  • ME1963

    Mike Quade is proof that YOU can’t fix the problem until you admit YOU are the problem!

  • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

    Good stuff. DId you see that Hendry didn’t get…er, “Credit” for Soriano? Because it was “escalated and closed” by someone else (former Cub President).

    Also, of note, Colvin has done well in the last month at Iowa.

    • BT

      This has been hinted at by many people before, but this is the first time I’ve seen someone just come flat out and say it. I’m not sure if this is Wittenmeyer’s opinion, or if he knows it as fact, but it’s kind of a big deal, since virtually every anti-Hendry conversation starts with the Soriano signing.

      For the record I still think Hendry should be gone.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Increasingly, folks have omitted Soriano from their anti-Hendry talking points because it was at least unclear as to his level of culpability on that. What has not really been in doubt, however, was Hendry’s strong interest in pursuing Soriano at all – something that some of us, waaay back in the day, opposed on just about any contract he was rumored to be landing. So, in that regard, it’s still a fair Hendry criticism. The length of the deal, had Hendry had his way, probably would have been a couple years shorter.

      • MichiganGoat

        I don’t blame Hendry for that move, I think Zell was all about increasing the payroll and hopefully having a winner when it was time to sell. What I do blame Hendry for is the Bradley, Fuk, Grawbow, Miles signings, all of them were reactionary and not part of a winning plan. Combine that with his inability to know when to trade players and prospects at their peek, and his lack of return on the players he does trade (mainly because he trades players after they have value).

  • Toosh

    Just backed the movie. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Brett. Whatever happened to Ace?

  • cccubfan

    It’s time for some great big changes…Quade and Riggins need to go away and bring in Ryno and Maddux to take their places. Dernier needs to move over to third base and let De Jesus find his way bakc to special assistant or whatever he was with Lou. Pat Gillick needs to come on in and find us a GM that knows how and where to spend the Ricketts money. Frustration I guess is what all this is. I am just letting it all out……Come back Ryno, come back……LOL

  • Toosh

    Yeah, I read it.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That’s what happened to Ace.

  • Cheryl

    Brett, Any further word on draft signings? I keep seeing statements that Vogebach is about to sign but haven’t heard anything more on that or the others.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Nope, nothing really. I heard a few weeks back that the Cubs were possibly trying to announce a bunch of the “hard to sign” guys at once, so it’s possible Vogelbach and some others are in the bag, but I doubt it. If you wait to announce a signing, the kid can’t start playing. It doesn’t make sense to prevent a kid from getting his development underway just so you can make a big announcement. What’s more likely is that guys like Vogelbach are getting so far over slot that it’s taking the Commissioner’s office a long time to approve the deal.

      • Jeff

        No more new signings, but Zeke DeVoss stole 5 bases in his debut in Rookie ball, so he’s already ahead of last years rookies.

    • Fishin Phil
      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Nice – you just scooped Toosh. Article is up.