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New General Manager Jed Hoyer and Scouting/Development Chief (that’s a title I’m using, not his actual title – the actual title is too long and abstract) Jason McLeod will be introduced at a press conference today at 3pm CT. I’ll be covering the press conference live here, but if you’d like to watch, it should be on CSN and CSNChicago.com, at a minimum. It won’t be quite the national media event that the Theo Epstein press conference was, but it should be revealing nonetheless.

  • According to Bruce Levine, when Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer met with Mike Quade about his past and future with the Chicago Cubs last week, they met for seven hours. Yes, there’s something to be said for being thorough and polite, but seven hours ain’t just thorough and polite. It suggests minds had not yet been made up. It suggests things are genuinely being considered. Scary things.
  • Ok, and now I’ll back myself – and you – down from the ledge. Keep in mind, even if Epstein and Hoyer had already decided to can Quade, they’d want to talk to him about what went right/wrong, certain players, etc. for quite a while. Exit interviews exist for a reason, and sometimes they’re quite long. Jim Hendry stayed on to help the Cubs for a month after he’d been told he was being let go. Seven hours, in that context, is nothing. Perhaps the second meeting with Quade this week will be a five minute “thanks for the service and last week’s chat. Farewell.”
  • Former Cubs manager Lou Piniella, the man who retired mid-season, giving Quade the chance to prove his mettal as an interim manager, says he hopes the new Cubs’ brass gives Quade a chance.
  • Today is the Theo Epstein compensation talks deadline, as set by Commissioner Bud Selig. Red Sox GM Ben Cherington says he and Epstein have had a hard time coming to an agreement on just what the latter is worth. That’s gotta be a fun conversation for Epstein with his former lieutenant (“No, seriously, dude – it turns out, I’m pretty awful at what I do. Sucks for you that I taught you everything I know.”). The two sides will talk again today, but the matter is expected to be turned over to Selig by the end of the day. The two sides will, at some undetermined point thereafter, make their case before Selig.
  • Cherington added that the issue of Red Sox personnel following Epstein to Chicago remains undecided. He did, however, say, “If there’s an opportunity for one person [to go to] Chicago that’s clearly a better opportunity, then that’s good, we don’t want to stand in anyone’s way. There’s an understanding the Cubs won’t raid the Red Sox and the Red Sox aren’t going to raid the Cubs. It should be a good relationship going forward.” The fact that he explicitly said “one person,” to me, means that “one person” will be coming over from the Red Sox. The leading candidates are special assistant Dave Finley, director of baseball operations Brian O’Halloran, trainer Mike Reinold, or executive VP of business affairs Jonathan Gilula.
  • The Cubs will continue to grow their front office over the offseason, but even if it doubles from its previously-scant 10 (full-time, Chicago-based, front office personnel with evaluation or decision-making authority), it will still be outpaced by most large market clubs. We’re truly learning just how behind the times the Cubs had become.
  • Carlos Zambrano is in Venezuela to pitch in the Venezuela Winter League, but, before he does, he’s filming a Pepsi commercial with Bobby Abreu and Ozzie Guillen. But, as usual, I’m sure the subject of the Marlins never comes up. Ever.
  • Fishin Phil

    Things should get pretty interesting over the next week or so.  I hope they fire Quade twice.

  • Aaron

    Would they take the time to address the Quade issue at the press conference today?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’m sure it will be asked about. Unless it’s been decided, Hoyer will probably dance. It’s possible that it’s been decided, though.

      • Aaron

        After 7 hours with the guy in just the one meeting and phone conversations before that, I’m sure it is.

        Obviously, most people on here wants Quade gone. I’m kind of taking the opposite stand – the guy made mistakes, yes, but it was his first year and there is a learning curve. New management at the helm and a new club attitude might change things, never know? Plus, the Cubs aren’t likely to be very competitive this first year anyway, so let the guy play out his contract and then look for a manager the following year. No sense bringing in a highly-lauded guy for a club that will just disappoint and let the fans boo the new guy out of town (Dusty… Lou…).

        That’s my 2 cents.

        • CubFan Paul

          so lets not sign or trade for any new pitchers, a 1st or 3rd basemen, leave Soriano anchored in left field & leave right field empty and play with 8 ..no need to try to be competitve in 2012

          • Aaron

            You can be competitive with Quade finishing out his contract. Attracting a few new players will help.

            Let’s not forget that injuries, blown saves, and a few other good breaks this season would have made the Cubs a .500 team (Marmol with 10(!) blown saves?).

            .500 on the season, then acquiring a good manager that has a solid foundation to really build on for the following season, would be my personal ideal situation.

            Again, just my opinion. Theo and Co. are making a lot of money to make the decision though. I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough.

            • art

              Aaron, this is just my opinion.

              he made many mistakes for having 18 years of managing experience no matter where it was, he had 3 years of big league coaching under Louie, he needs to go.

              injuries and blown saves are part of the game, first year of big league managing experience doesn’t wash here. there is no excuse for his “many” bad decisions.

              that’s how i see it.

            • Jeff

              I can point to at least 5 blown saves that are strictly on Mike Quade’s shoulders.  Add in the games that he absolutely had to pitch to Pujols with the game on the line and the excuses start getting old.  He’s been a coach and minor league manager for a long time, he shouldn’t have had to learn on the job, he’s been on the job for 30+ years.

        • jstraw

          The team stopped taking Quade seriously and he didn’t grow on the job at all. His learning curve looks like it was dropped out of the Enola Gay.

          • willis

            I wonder how many nick names Quade was able to come up with in 7 hours?

            Epsy
            Steiny
            Hoyie
            Jeddie
            Theo-ie

  • ShootTheGoat

    Its crazy that in a huge market such as Chicago, we only had 10 front office workers ….This is just one (small one but still one) of the many reasons we have regressed as a team.. UNREAL!!!

    • Coldneck

      You’re talking about the slow regression since 1908. right?

  • Brian

    It took them that long just to explain to Q-ball what sabermetrics are…

    • Chris84

      “So lemme get this straight Eppy, with these new ‘sabermetroids,’ I get to carry a sword, right?”

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Haha! Yes.

      • Ol’CharlieBrown

        lmao!

  • Hawkeye

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRETT!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, Matt. The big 3-0. Which means my long overdue Bartman piece is now officially late. Goal is next week. What can I say? It’s long…

      • Hawkeye

        I am not looking forward to the big 3-0 either.   Fortunately, I got 366 days until that becomes a reality.   Heres hoping for one great year before it all starts to go down hill.

      • Dave

        1) That’s what she said
        2) Happy birthday

  • chris margetis

    There has to be some chance they keep in on board if for nothing else, it seems most guys they’d really be interested in aren’t technically “available” until after 2012. Everyone seems to think a disasterous 2012 is a forgon conclusion anyway. Also, and keep in mind, I’m all for a new manager, I read something here about questionable, against the grain decisions Quade made last season (and I agree, many were against the grain, and very questionable), but he made a whole bunch of “by the book” decisions that backfired based on poor player performace as well, so maybe his performance, which is ultimately based on the players, was more of an anomaly and the new brass thinks given the circumstances, he should get to ride out the contract and prove himself either way.

  • Katie

    I tried to set the press conference to record but Directv CSN Chicago makes no mention of it in this afternoon’s line up. Anybody know what channel it’s on?

    • NL_Cubs

      The program guides are not necessarily current when recent programming changes are made. You can manually set the DVR to record the time block and channel (CSN) you want. I’d set it for 2:30-4:30 in case CSN runs long. And don’t forget to record Tribune Live tonight as well for more Hoyer analysis.

    • CubFan Paul

      it’ll be on CSN ..just record that soccer game thats listed

      • Katie

        Thanks guys I will do that. My DVR is new technology to me. Been too cheap to get one in the past. What the hell I was thinking! I love it!

        Already set CTL to record tonight!

  • NL_Cubs

    What a grill job on Quade. The new Cubs brain trust must have been extracting all sorts of “vision” from Quade.

    That dome of his must have been a waterfall. I wonder how many sweat towels he went thru?

  • Mike F

    Keeping Mike Quade after all the front office work would be the equivalent of buying a new Bentley, then dragging an old beaded seat mat and an evergreen rearview mirror air freshener into the Bentley. Who knows, but what a scary thought.

  • johnbres2

    I want Q-ball gone as well, BUT I am willing to trust that whichever decision Theo and Jed make is the right thing here. Isn’t that the point?

  • cubsklm

    There is absolutely no way with an entire new regime coming in, with the baseball savvy they have, will they destroy all the goodwill they’ve obtained from Cub fans, by keeping Q-Ball.

    I don’t care if it was 7 hours or 7 minutes, he’s gone.

    You can’t clean house without cleaning up the dugout.

    • johnbres2

      I hear you absolutely. I hope you are right, but also I don’t think the new regime will base its decisions at all on what the fans think. Theo/Jed are like surgeons dealing with a severely ill patient–and the correct plan of action has nothing to do with what the patient’s family and friends think about it.

    • Kyle

      I don’t think Epstein intends to “clean house” at all. That’s something the fans have decided needs to happen, but he’s never said such a thing.

      He’s repeatedly referred to “getting more out of the resources the Cubs already have.” To me, that would include teaching Quade the right way to manage, rather than paying him $1 million to go away.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        “Teach” a 26-year coaching/managing veteran how to manage? That’s the best way for this franchise to compete? I can’t agree … if only there were some kind of pithy expression about dogs and tricks and applied here…

        • Kyle

          It’s not hard.

          “Here’s a list of pitchers you use in close games, here’s a list of pitchers you use in blowout games, here’s a guideline for how deep to let your starters go in each game, and here’s the lineup we want you to use. Other than that, try to look inspiring and keep the players happy.”

          The best way for this franchise to compete is to be efficient with its resources. The manager’s spot is so overrated that I’d hate to waste a couple of million on replacing Quade when we don’t have to.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            We disagree on almost every front on this issue. The *only* reason I see to NOT replace Quade this year is if there is a hard, *certain* target who isn’t free until after 2012. Failing that, there is simply no reason to not let a new manager come in and start laying his own groundwork. Are you suggesting Quade is the manager of the long-term future? If you’re not, then “saving” $1 million by letting a lame duck manage a young, rebuilding squad is, to me, indefensible. There are relationships to be built. Strategies to be practiced. Fundamentals to teach. I don’t want Quade anywhere near any of those things for the next year simply because he’s a “resource” already under contract.

            The relative difference in managers is frequently overstated, you’re right. But Quade showed me plenty enough to know that, in his case, it isn’t.

            • Jeff

              Even if having to wait for a manager was the case, I think having Pat Listach or even someone like Brian Harper run the team next year makes more sense than letting Quade stay on.  Epstein spoke of an organization wide philosophy, and Quade spit all over the development side of that the last two years.  He’s simply not a good fit here, he might do well stepping in for a veteran team, but he’s not a leader and not capable of developing his players.

            • Fishin Phil

              My understanding is that we are trying to build something here.  Would you try to build upon a solid base, or a rotten board.

              Quade = rotten board.

          • hardtop

            i never realized how important a manager could be until mike quade came along. can a good manager win 15 games a year for you? maybe, but thats a stretch. can a bad one loose a dozen for you? easily! the proof, my friend, is in the puddin’
            -shut up and get your ass in that puddin-

      • hansman1982

        He also said that an organization needs to realize sunk cost – Quade is just that similar to Soriano and Z. We can utilize the resources we have by making Mikey a roving instructor or advanced scout.

        • Kyle

          That’d be fine with me too. I’m not opposed to firing Quade, I’m just not dead set on it either. I’m not particularly worried about who is the manager of the Cubs, as long as Epstein explains to them not to shred the starters’ arms, who should be in the everyday lineup, and that good relief pitchers should be used in close games.

  • Jason

    Who else thinks that Quade referred to Epstein as “Eppy” during their meeting?

    • NL_Cubs

      I’d put money on it!  And don’t forget about his pleasantries with “Hoy”

    • Jeff

      I have a feeling that even Quade was smart enough to call him Mr. Epstein while begging to keep his job.

  • NL_Cubs

    The ONLY way I see Quade staying is if Sandberg is not under consideration or not available and the Cubs need a bridge to go after, say, Joe Madden after the close of the 2012 season when his contract is up.

    Let Quade start the season, fire him several weeks into the season and hire an interim mgr to further bridge the position in order to get “their guy”. Who’s to say if “their guy” is currently available. Might need a patch. I can live with that.

  • Brian

    Screw Quade. He had an entire season to prove that he could handle managing a big-league club. He showed everyone time and time again as the season went on that he did not have a clue what he was doing, and he didn’t get any better as the season progressed. so I hope this 7-hour meeting was for the new guys to get a sense of the clubhouse, how the front office communicates within the team, and other logistical stuff. (or, they don’t actually know how awful Quade is, because nobody pays attention to a team that’s 71-91)

  • Pat

    Not that Quade should be absolved for the head-scratching decisions, but I think he was 9 games under 500 over the course of a season and a quarter. I’d say that’s pretty close to the true talent level of the teams he had.

    • Jeff

      Except that the majority of his teams wins came in September two years in a row, when the team was completely out of the race.  It’s a lot easier to win games when you play all your veterans against the other 80% of baseball that is playing it’s young players.  I don’t disagree that the talent level on the team probably should equal to .500 at best, but they only played at that level for short amounts of time, and in meaningless games(which were made even more meaningless by his refusal to use rookies/young players).

  • jim

    FIRE Quade! First we get an outstanding President of
    operations & a very good GM. Let’s NOT “screw” it
    up by keeping Mike Quade! HUGE MSTAKE!
    CUBS either need to hire SANDBERG or an equally
    “smart” MGR NOW!

    GOOD GOD! PLEASE DO NOT RETAIN MIKE QUADE!

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