Mike Quade happy for support from Cubs chairman Ricketts
By GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org June 16, 2011 7:26PM
Updated: September 29, 2011 12:32AM
He said he didn’t need it and wasn’t looking for it. But the public support Mike Quade got this week from Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts was welcome news to the first-year manager, who has drawn increasing criticism in recent weeks.
‘‘It has been a tough run, and we all know that,’’ Quade said. ‘‘It’s always nice to have your people on board. I appreciate everything. And Tom Ricketts is running a hell of an organization, so that’s always nice to hear.’’
As for the criticism, which seemed to reach its highest pitch as the Cubs finished a recent 2-8 road trip, ‘‘I don’t even know probably 80 percent of whatever criticism is out there,’’ Quade said. ‘‘I answer questions [the media] ask, have reasons for what I do and I go about my business accordingly.’’
The subject of criticism isn’t new for Quade, who won the job over the popular choice, Ryne Sandberg, and who as recently as last week responded to the rising heat with, ‘‘Bring it on.’’
Critics have ripped his tendency to leave pitchers in too long, some of his lineup choices and even his consciously G-rated ‘‘swearing’’ in interviews.
‘‘You understand taking this job that that’s part of it, and . . . that when things are going rough that that’s going to get multiplied as well,’’ he said Thursday before the Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 12-7 to win a four-game series. ‘‘But I made a commitment to come here with a job to do and be upbeat every day, even going through the tough times, and I’ve been true to that.’’
Kosuke Fukudome just missed hitting for the cycle Thursday and suddenly looks as if he’s found a second wind in June after an up-and-down May. It comes just in time for the Cubs to make a midseason run — or just in time for the trading season, depending on your perspective.
After a 3-for-5 day that included two outfield assists, a triple and a three-run homer off Brewers lefty Daniel Herrera, Fukudome is hitting .350 with a .422 on-base percentage and .625 slugging percentage over his last 12 games.
‘‘He hasn’t played a [better] game for me since I’ve been here, that’s for sure,’’ Quade said. ‘‘Particularly the home run — that was a huge blow against a left-handed pitcher.’’
Said Fukudome of his fifth career homer against a lefty: ‘‘I think I might have to have a party.’’