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When Jim Hendry was fired mid-season, it became eminently reasonable to speculate about not only the Chicago Cubs’ next general manager, but also the Cubs’ next manager. Mike Quade was hand-picked by Hendry as the Cubs’ manager – over Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg – and their wagons were thus hitched for the 2011 season and beyond.

The season was a disaster, thanks primarily to a poorly constructed-roster and injuries, and Hendry was fired. For his own part, Quade made a series of bizarre decisions and statements throughout the year. Too often, Quade refused to go “by the book,” with predictable and damning results. So, when the ax fell on Hendry, it was probably a matter of time before Quade got a taste of the same.

And it might happen later this week.

Sources say Quade met late last week with new President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer to begin a dialogue that will culminate in a decision about Quade’s future with the Cubs. That dialogue is expected to continue in a meeting this week, at which Quade will be informed of the organization’s decision. Quade was hired by Hendry on the strength of a winning record as an interim manager after he took over for Lou Piniella in August 2010, and firing him on the strength of a terrible record in 2011 wouldn’t be unfair.

The smart money is on the Cubs conducting a managerial search soon. Note that the Cubs are expected to introduce Hoyer (as well as new Scouting/Player Development Chief Jason McLeod) at a press conference tomorrow, which would be a convenient time to announce the status of Mike Quade.

I’ve speculated that the Cubs were waiting to make a final decision on Quade not because of Epstein’s transition, but because of Hoyer’s. Just as it was with Jim Hendry, it is, generally-speaking, the job of the GM to make hiring and firing decisions with respect to the manager. Certainly Epstein will have heavy input, but the task falls to Hoyer, who was only recently formally put in place. And it sounds like he wasted no time immediately meeting with Quade.

There are whispers that the Cubs could just let Quade fulfill the final year of his contract in 2012, believing that the team won’t be competitive anyway, but I don’t buy it. I believe – as I said at the time – when Jim Hendry was let go, dismissing Quade became something of a formality.

  • Deer

    Do the Cubs do “exit” interviews of players at the end of the season. One look through those reports should tell Theo and Jed all they need to know about Q. Even his cheerleader Demp turned on him.

  • http://www.calliopevoices.com The Big Mustafa

    The primary reason to bring in a replacement would be to truly indicate and implement a sea change.

    Also…if there is an ideal candidate, whom they fear might not be available in the future…I’d want them to act now.

    However, it needs to be understood that we’re building something, and the fan base can’t go crazy when we’re tanking because of a half-filled roster.

    And…if they feel like Quade would be a suitable baby-sitter, until the real ship is ready to sail, I think we can live with that, too.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thing is, Quade proved himself an incapable babysitter in August and September this year, as far as I’m concerned.

      • http://www.calliopevoices.com The Big Mustafa

        I actually agree with that, too.

        I want him gone…but, I don’t want to bring in a strong talent, only to find him scapegoated and tossed when he’s working within the plan.

      • CubFan Paul

        Quade couldn’t babysit my kids ..they would probably shave their eye brows and heads to look like Uncle Q-Ball

      • Mike

        Agreed. Quade proved this year when they were eliminated that he can’t be trusted to manage with the best interests of the franchise in mind. He needs to go.

  • hansman1982

    Question:

    Would you send Mike Quade to St Louis and pay the difference between Pujols’ expiring contract and his new one if it meant that Quade HAD to be the St Louis manager for as long as Pujols played?

    • T Wags

      In a heartbeat!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      So, the question is: is Quade so bad that saddling another team with him is worth $10 million per year? Let me turn it on its head: is upgrade from Quade to, let’s say, Joe Girardi worth $10 million per year? I’m not a Quade fan, but I think that question is easy to answer.

    • Brian Myers

      As long as the Cardinals don’t interview / hire Ryne Sandberg, I’m fairly neutral on the Cubs manager status. The thought (which nobody has even suggested) kind of makes me ill. ;-)

  • Katie

    You know, I gave Q the benefit of the doubt but he lost me when he chose to pitch to Pujols in a game winning situation not once, but twice in as many days and he homered both times. It blew my mind. I don’t think I’ve screamed as much at the TV since the last time they tanked in the playoffs. Sheesh.

  • die hard

    Dempster coming back means Quade gone as former sandbagged latter after initially advocating his hiring….D thought he and other vets could control Q and for most of the season that was true…until blow up on National TV when Q finally woke up to what D and other vets did by wooing him into their cell…not pretty behind those bars.

  • mac

    As a manager Quade is a hell of a third base coach.

  • Alex

    Unless the Cubs have a manager in mind who is currently unavailable, I would cut ties with Quade right away.

    A new manager will be able evaluate the team from the clubhouse and dugout perspective in 2012. This will help Theo and Hoyer make more informed roster decisions during the season and the following offseason.

    With all the dead weight on the roster, the Cubs need as many fresh perspectives that they can get, as soon as they can get them.

  • die hard

    Pat Listach right under their collective noses

  • EQ76

    Maybe we all need to thank Wells & Cash for getting hurt and Marm for blowing all those leads.. if we won 10 more games, Q might still have a job..

  • matt

    Quade lost me when he let an announcer dictate what should be done to Castro for not paying attention. He should have taken charge of that situation. Valentine is an announcer…he’s the manager. It’s HIS job!!! Also, when told Garza to lay a bunt down so he wouldn’t ground into a double play to let Castro try to get his 200th hit. Garza openly questioned him why Castro’s goals were more important then his. To me, it was a sign that he had totally lost his team.

    I don’t care who the next manager will be, but I do think they should start fresh.

    Again, thanks for the insight about this meeting. This is the first I’ve heard of anything. The press conference tomorrow would be a great time to announce Quade will or won’t return.

  • die hard

    Listach creds include rookie of the year and minor league manager of the year…played the game well at major league level…..manages in the winter leagues each year….would relate well to Latino players….coached and bench coached in majors…would emphasize small ball given he was a base stealer….hard nosed….knows the game as well as anyone…and is young man. Are you listening Theo et al?…sign him to 3 yr and get on with bringing him players

  • Mike F

    Brett, I agree with your analysis, with maybe this caveat. It is a fundamental of all good organizations to let the good decisions run and cut your losses on the bad one. This is a new organization trying to get off to the right start. While we are unsure of their complete view of the roster and how soon it can actually compete we do know a couple of things. First, they have a very good pitcher a lot of teams would covet in Matt Garza. Second, they have an outstanding young player in Castro. Third, they have a quality back end of the bullpen and some depth there, while being albeit short a closer. That is something with the Boston closer a fa that could be remedied quickly. I think the Cubs at the major league level are better than Quade ever managed to. They compare more favorably to the Cardinals with a move here and there and Jackson working out than most will acknowledge, but it’s the high minor leagues and minor league depth where they are behind.

    The other thing, fundamentally why would you want someone who is so unsound, as you’re forming your organization? What possible reasoning could exist to overcome the need to send the right message from day one, given the failure Quade bathed in last season. I understand the argument that someone might, emphasis might, be available in year, but given the Cubs need and the new Cubs way, we would have to want to push that with those individuals now as it makes no sense with a clean start to try to parade out a year of old vomit. More importantly, of all the damning things the bizarre one did, the most detrimental might of been has handling of the young players. To me, to keep Quade would be a very bad mistake and one that would put them in a hole that would be almost inexplicable. He’s inept and incompetent, and that’s not because of any candidate out there. It’s not that I look at this and see the perfect candidate, it’s that I know it would be very difficult if the process is correct to find one who isn’t a lot better.

  • http://bleachernation.com ricosanto

    Paul Sullivan had a good article about Quades past year.There was about 12 things and they were all negative,which I totally agree,. How many positive things can anyone say.I am have a hard time thinking of any. I still am pretty sure it will be Ryno fairly quiclkly. The organizational meetings are very soon as the Gm meetings.

  • Fishin Phil

    Now is the time for bold changes!

     

    Bye, Bye Mike!

    • Bails17

      Phil…..Do you really think that firing Mike is a bold move?  Not so much.

  • Fishin Phil

    Not really, but I believe he was the one who uttered that infamous line.

    • Bails17

      Oh yes!!  I forgot…you are correct sir!!

  • rocky8263

    Just saying, this team cannot go into 2012 with Mike Quade. I know the 2012 Cubs will not be the 2011 cardinals but you just never know. And Quade has proven he doesn’t have the skills to lead a winning team.

  • Mike F

    Whether or not people think we are a championship contender in 2012 is one thing, I don’t think anyone would paint us as that. But where we should seek to be at a minimum is another. To that consider Theo’s remarks that it’s a two pronged attack now and in the future, we again sounds familiar can with a few moves be right there this is a win now league and the similar vein Arizona and you can turn quickly. I think that is fairly sincere. As I do also think, Quade’s exit if you hire just a guy gets you 5 and the right guy gets you 10-15 games with two moves, a hitter and a closer, Add an arm and get lucky with one, you’re right there.

    But all that is immaterial. The point is what the hell would the purpose be to all the change to keep Quade. You really would even want to consider letting him near your pitching staff, young ball players and bluntly he apparently isn’t beloved by the veterans. His approach to media is disgraceful. When you don’t have anything important to say, you leave them alone. Quade vomits nonsense. In the end, if Quade stays, it’s really pretty pathetic, I just don’t see anyway, Theo would do that. You clearly wipe the managerial slate clean and why would they even want him in the room to discuss anything. I absolutely believe this is a courtesy thing and after Hoyer is through his meet and greet, Quade will go. I have to believe Theo wouldn’t come, bring Hoyer and all the others in the work and then go to used store to get something like Quade, it’s just not something that would make sense. And then I don’t know who it is, but just as in the case last season of Quade being shoved down their throat, it would be a mistake for Theo to hire Sandberg because it pleases fans. If he ticks all the boxes yes, by all means, but I really believe we have to give Theo the benefit of the doubt on who replaces Quade.

  • die hard

    Quade should file suit to challenge decision to fire him even tho with pay cause firing adversely affects future as manager. He should challenge to set precedent like Curt Flood did for ballplayers. Q could do likewise for managers. A 2 year contract means 2 years in the dugout.

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