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Optimistic Mike Quade says he thinks he’ll be back in ’12

Cubs manager Mike Quade says he expects return next seasdespite team’s dismal record. | Charles Rex Arbogast~AP

Cubs manager Mike Quade says he expects to return next season, despite the team’s dismal record. | Charles Rex Arbogast~AP

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Updated: November 30, 2011 12:18AM

Handwriting on the wall? What handwriting? What wall?

If Wednesday was Mike Quade’s final home game as the Cubs’ manager, no one was going to get him to
admit it, despite a miserable season that cost general manager Jim Hendry his job two months ago.

‘‘Haven’t thought about it, don’t think about it, don’t believe it,’’ Quade said before the Cubs finished their home schedule with a 7-1 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers. ‘‘Why would I? We’re going to play today, and I’m going to be back. There’s no other way to look at it. .  .  .

‘‘I’m not going to wax
nostalgic. I plan to be back, and I plan to do a good job next year.’’

Quade’s not an idiot — or even a lunatic, as he famously clarified in July. If anything, he’s a stubborn optimist.

‘‘If they make a decision [to go] in a different direction, so be it,’’ said Quade, who has one year left on the two-year deal he signed last fall. ‘‘The question is what do I think, and that’s what I think. .  .  . I’m not sitting here comfortable because I have a contract. I like doing this, I think I’m good at doing it and that’s the way I look at things. .  .  .

‘‘I don’t lose sleep over things that are out of my

Quade said he hasn’t talked with ownership or otherwise received assurances about next season — for himself or his coaching staff.

After the Cubs were buried early by injuries, poor pitching, worse fielding and lousy production with men in scoring position, they have put together a too-little, too-late run of competitive baseball the last seven weeks.

Quade has been an easy target for critics since at least May over his decisions and public comments.

‘‘No one escapes blame, and you understand that
going in,’’ he said. ‘‘But I also look at it as a realist and try to think about the things that I could and couldn’t control. .  .  . But you sit here, and you take the blame.’’

His ‘‘one disappointment, if I had [one],’’ he said, is the Cubs’ continued lapses in fundamentals after he emphasized cleaning that up when he took the job.

‘‘But it wasn’t for lack of work on it or concentration or emphasis on it from the beginning of spring training,’’ he said. ‘‘If it’s something that we neglected, then, yeah, to hell with me. But when you’re working on it and you’re talking about it every day and you’re trying to [fix it], that’s the frustrating thing.’’

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