The Chicago Cubs have announced, as expected, manager Mike Quade will not be returning to the team in 2012. More on the legacy of Quade later.
For now, the Cubs – under the leadership of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer – will begin conducting a managerial search (as if it weren’t already under way). This was all to be expected once previous GM Jim Hendry was fired – General Managers (and Presidents) tend to like to hitch their managerial wagon to guys they’ve selected, rather than who happens to be present.
Here’s the official statement from Theo Epstein:
“Jed Hoyer and I had an all-day meeting with Mike last Thursday at Wrigley Field, and Mike and I continued our dialogue with a lengthy phone conversation yesterday after the press conference. Today, I flew to Florida to inform Mike in person that the Cubs have decided not to bring him back as our manager for the 2012 season.
“When I joined the Cubs last week, I knew that Mike had a reputation as an outstanding baseball guy, as a tireless worker, and as a first-rate human being. After spending some time with him this past week, it became apparent to me that Mike’s reputation is well deserved. His passion, knowledge of the game, commitment, and integrity stood out immediately. While Mike is clearly an asset to any organization and any major league staff, Jed and I believe that the Cubs would benefit long-term from bringing in a manager for 2012 who can come in with a clean slate and offer new direction.
“The managerial search process begins immediately. We are looking for someone with whom and around whom we can build a foundation for sustained success. The next manager must have leadership and communication skills; he must place an emphasis on preparation and accountability; he must establish high standards and a winning culture; he must have integrity and an open mind; and he must have managerial or coaching experience at the major league level.
“I want to thank Mike for his nine years of excellent service to the Cubs, and we certainly wish him well in the future.”
On a quick glance, the “must have managerial or coaching experience at the Major League level” requirement seems to rule out a certain Cubs legend. Moreover, Ken Rosenthal just reported that sources tell him the Cardinals have asked for permission to interview Ryne Sandberg for their managerial vacancy. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the crotch? (Not that I’m saying Sandberg is necessarily the man for the Cubs’ job, but…)
As I’ve noted here before in other posts, the names floating around so far for manager are Brewers’ hitting coach Dale Sveum, Red Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale, Rangers’ pitching coach Mike Maddux, Rays’ bench coach Dave Martinez, and Cubs’ bench coach Pat Listach. There will be many more as things shake out over the next few days.
Here comes the Obsessive New Manager Watch!