Cubs manager Mike Quade is likely next to go
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org August 19, 2011 3:34PM
Mike Quade was fired after one season as Cubs manager on Wednesday. | AP
Updated: August 19, 2011 8:28PM
Cubs manager Mike Quade’s days as the team manager likely are numbered.
The first-year Cubs manager has one year remaining on the contract he received after last season from Jim Hendry. But Hendry’s departure leaves the manager’s job in the hands of his replacement, team owner Tom Ricketts said Friday.
“The general manager will be responsible for the baseball operations,’’ Ricketts said of the manager’s job. “The results are his and he owns them. They [GMs] have to have the freedom to hire the people they feel will give them results.’’
Quade, 54, said Friday he has not thought about his own future after learning only hours before of Hendry’s firing.
“A real tough day,’’ he said. “A good man, a good friend — as good a guy as I’ve worked with in the business, and I’ve worked with a lot of them. 17 years with an organization is something. I’ll miss him.
“This is not a day [to think about] me,’’ he said. “That’s the furthest thing from my mind. You work for a guy and he’s a friend. It’s a tough day for all of us. There’s no concern for me. My future is the farthest thing from my mind.’’
It was Aug. 23, 2010 that then-third base coach Quade took over as interim manager after the abrupt retirement of Lou Piniella. The team went 24-13 in the closing weeks, propelling Quade to the job over others, including Hall of Fame player Ryne Sandberg, who had spent four years in the team’s minor leagues.
But the Cubs have fallen to the depths of the National League this season, plagued by injuries and inconsistent play. Quade and Hendry have been the target of fan anger, including from countless season ticketholders who have made their feelings known repeatedly to Ricketts as the season has progressed.
Ricketts made a point Friday of stressing that his family has a commitment to the team’s following.
“I am constantly reminded that the Chicago Cubs have the greatest fans, and we are working tirelessly to give these fans the world championship’’ Ricketts said.
Along with Quade, the future also seems short for assistant general manager Randy Bush, named Hendry’s interim replacement but told already he will not be considered for the job permanently.
“I met with Tom on Wednesday. He told me what would transpire. He told me he felt we needed a fresh start, and I appreciated his honesty,’’ said Bush, who added he will consult with Ricketts daily to conduct possible waiver deals that might arise before the Aug. 31 deadline.
Ricketts also addressed the situation involving Carlos Zambrano for the first time, saying he concurred with Hendry’s decision to place him on the disqualified list.
“That was Jim’s decision, but we were in close communication,’’ Ricketts said. “I think he [Hendry] handled it properly.’’