Since being fired by the Cubs last week (seriously, only last week? It feels like months for some reason…), former Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade has remained largely silent about the circumstances of his dismissal and his time leading the Cubs.

Yesterday, Quade opened up a bit about those subjects, and others.

“I don’t think we were dealt a losing hand at all, and it’s too easy to go back and say that, especially now if you’re me,” Quade said on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000. “Happy with way guys competed.”

The losing hand to which Quade referred, of course, is the lackluster performance of the players on his roster, the lackluster makeup of that roster, and the damaging, early injuries to players on that roster. Quade, as he said all season long, doesn’t want to point the finger at the roster or the injuries.

Quade also isn’t particularly upset with Carlos Zambrano, who walked out on Quade and the Cubs after a mid-August meltdown in Atlanta.

“The thing with Z, I got the biggest kick out of people talking about him being disrespectful in that situation,” Quade said. “Z’s blown [his stack] with a number of guys, Lou [Piniella], Dusty [Baker], Derrek [Lee], pick your guy. That’s just his nature. When things go they go.

“I didn’t take that personally. I felt terrible about it. Obviously wish it wouldn’t have happened, and heck the son of a gun pitched really good for us. You make decisions and you’re not going to please everybody all the time, but I think in general having those guys back and trying to win games no matter what the situation is what he stayed focused on.”

Indeed, Quade was more bothered by the public disagreement he had with Ryan Dempster after pulling the pitcher early in a post-injury start.

“I think our relationship maybe made it hurt more than most situations,” Quade said. “Still in all, whether it was Z, whether it was Demps, any confrontation or anything that happens you always feel unfortunate about.

“You’re always making decisions that are right for the club and right for the individual and guys don’t agree sometimes. It’s not unique to Mike Quade and not unique to baseball. It hurt, but those things happen. I didn’t take it personally and I don’t think Demps did either.”

Another fine response.

And, when it came time to discuss his dismissal, Quade remained positive and upbeat.

“I think [Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer] were open in a big way,” Quade said of the meetings with new Cubs’ management that preceded his firing. “It was about as constructive a seven-hour meeting – I don’t know if I’ve had any seven-hour meetings – as constructive a time as I’ve spent talking to a GM or baseball people in general. There was very little that was left unsaid or talked about as far as everything from the roster to philosophy, strategy and everything else. I enjoyed it very much and felt pretty good.”

Quade, who had a year left on his contract with the Cubs, was not offered another position with the Cubs, which he thought was the right decision.

“It doesn’t seem appropriate to me,” Quade said. “If you’re a longtime manager stepping away and somebody is taking over, then absolutely. Or if you’re another position as a coach, then why not.

“But if you’re running the club, when you’re managing the club, it would just be an awkward situation. I think Theo and Jed are looking to shake things up and wanted to change things and I got caught in the switch.”

But it wasn’t all sunshine and roses from Quade, particularly when he was asked about the criticism he faced about his lineups later in the year.

Quade admitted that, when he refused to play younger players with regularity once the Cubs were eliminated from playoff contention, he was doing so in an effort to save his job.

“I think [the criticism is] wrong, and what young kids are we talking about?” Quade said. “If somebody said, ‘We’re going to re-sign you for three years, play them all, and if you lose every game we don’t care.’ Well, then maybe it’s a different deal. But no one came across with that proposition.”

It’s such an unfortunate response. We long suspected it was true, but, as I said at the time: it’s unfathomable to me that a relatively smart guy couldn’t see that “winning games” wasn’t going to save his job. If anything, he’d have been in a far better position to plead his case at the end of the year if he’d clearly done everything he could in the best interests of the organization, his own future be damned. He didn’t do that, and his future was damned anyway.

  • Fishin Phil

    Absolutely no surprises in any of his responses.  I think he would make a fine manager for the Cardinals.

    • Dan0mite

      Then he would take them to another championship.

  • Amoo22

    Damn now I feel bad for the bastard

  • die hard

    Very bitter guy who probably thought that when Pinella vouched for him then he was set for life. Dempster and the other vets never respected him. Striving to be accepted by the veterans speaks volumes as to his feeling of inadequacy for never making it in the bigs. Until he generates self-respect by accepting the fact that he has something to offer even though never made it, then he will never manage in the bigs again.

  • baseballet

    I don’t understand why Quade was allowed to keep playing the vets (for the most part) for the final 50 games of the season. Why didn’t ownership/management stop him from doing this? They are even more at fault than Quade because they had the ultimate authority and because it was clear that the prospects needed to be evaluated for 2012.
    Furthermore, they could have traded a few of the vets last season at the trading deadlines when they had more value. Hendry wasted his final chance to sell high.
    Why didn’t Ricketts force Hendry and Quade to do what was best for the future of the team? His acquiesence to Hendry’s/Quade’s buffoonery after the All Star break is so perplexing because he has made terrific decisions in the offseason.

    • Brett

      I think Ricketts was genuinely afraid of upsetting the apple cart in advance of bringing in the next guy. Ricketts isn’t, by trade, a baseball guy, so he probably didn’t want to say “start this guy, trade this guy” for fear that it would jack up any plans the future GM might have.

  • Ol’CharlieBrown

    I agree 100% with the concept of playing the young guys in order to get them a consistent amount of playing time so that we can really get a good look at them and see if they can be productive on a day to day basis, as opposed to getting to pinch hit once every few games. I wanted Quade to play the kids as much as anyone else. Especially once it was getting later (later meaning May) in the season and we were totally out of contention. I was happy that Quade was fired because I don’t think he was fit for the job. Having said that, I do feel its so much easier for all of us to sit here from behind our computers and play Monday morning quarterback.

    There’s no debating that Quade was looking out for his own future instead of the Cubs future. I feel like almost any manager who wasn’t sure of his future would do the same thing though. His point is great about the fact that it would have been far easier to play the kids if the front office had come to him and said we want you to be apart of this building process and we want to bring you back for 3 more years so please play the young guys and don’t be concerned with wins and losses at the moment.

    Imagine if you were in your first full season of managing a major league team. A team that was in a state of flux. The GM of your team, we’ll call him Tim Bendry, seems to be unsure of the team and of his own future. He knows whats best for the team in the long run yet he seems steadfast in his desire to play the veterans. Having no real direction, your faced with a tough decision. With your team clearly out of contention and being a man of advanced baseball knowledge – if this was your team and the teams future was your future – you would know that you need to put the young kids on the field consistently to see who can cut the mustard and who can’t. It would be the best move for the future regardless of the wins and losses that would result in doing so. Instead you have to consider that by playing the kids, the owners/front office might be happy but it still doesn’t ensure that they will re-sign you at the end of the season. If they don’t re-sign you, it doesn’t look too amazing on your resume when you have a 50-90 season as your only past experience. So instead you try to field the best possible winning team every game so that at the end of the year you will have represented yourself as the best manager that you can be.

    I think the elephant in the room this past season was that we had a guy in Jim Hendry who was afraid his job was in jeopardy and so he may have pressed Quade to play the veterans hoping to rack up as many wins as possible this season in hopes of securing his job for a few more years. Then we had a guy in Mike Quade who was afraid his job was in jeopardy and so he may have fallen back on the veterans hoping to rack up as many wins as possible this season in hopes of securing his job for a few more years. I think in their mind they knew what needed to be done but I think like many men, they went with their hearts. It was clear both men felt they had their back against the wall and rightly so.

    • Jeff

      The only problem that I have with this sentiment is that he pulled the same crap two seasons in a row.  He sat Wellington Castillo when he had him, he sat Clevenger, he sat DJ LeMahieu, he didn’t see if LaHair could handle first two or three times a week, he insisted on Byrd and Soriano playing every day, and he let ARam play the last couple of games of the year, after he had come out and said he was done with the Cubs and had played his last game at Wrigley.  He set the team back twice in two years by managing in a way that was good for him personally, but bad for the team and the organization.  Good Riddance, you can say you can’t blame the guy for the way he managed all you want, but I don’t see anyone else to blame.  It doesn’t take much of a brain to tell the difference between getting guys playing time for milestone purposes as compared to getting guys playing time for the betterment of the team long term.

      • Ol’CharlieBrown

        I don’t disagree with you at all, Jeff. I was screaming at the TV every time Quade left Dempster in after the 6th inning and every time he put Pena in the lineup against lefties and every time he let Marmol melt down on the mound and how he allowed us to give up a walk-off home run to Pujols and didn’t pitch around him the next night and Pujols did it again and all the other foolish decisions he made. The whole milestone situation was ridiculous I thought. They’ll get there when they get there and if they don’t then they weren’t good enough to reach the milestone. It especially made me mad when he had asked Garza to strike out on purpose so that Castro could get his 200th hit. I believe Castro even came up and took a walk in his next and final at-bat of that game if I remember correctly. Ridiculous.

  • Deez

    I could say a lot of things about Quademoto, but I’ll just say he’s delusional & I’m glad he’s gone.

  • Swaz46

    Brett, you’ve said it before, and reading this makes me think you’re right on even more: Mike Quade is a good man who was simply over his head. Good men don’t always make good managers.

  • Caleb

    Just think- if he had played Brian Lahair more, maybe he could have hit a bunch more homers and had a splintered bat through the ribs!

    Wait. That’s not good. Maybe THAT’S what Quade was thinking about.

    Okay, probably not. I’m just seeing how far any defense of Quade could go.

    Quade, off the record:

    “Well, you know, shucks. I remember Colvy last year getting that bat through the ribs, and I thought ‘gee, I don’t want that to happen to ‘hairy’ or ‘DJ Jazzy’ or any of these other young guys. So I though, ‘gosh, ‘Pena-rama’ has got thick ribs… maybe I’ll keep him out there in case a splintered bat heads to first. I’ve always said safety comes first in baseball management.”