Cubs manager Mike Quade has wait on his shoulders
BY GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org October 20, 2011 10:02PM
Cubs manager Mike Quade watches the action from the dugout during the sixth inning as the Chicago Cubs lost to the Philadelphia Phillies 4-2 Tuesday July 19, 2011 at Wrigley Field. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: November 22, 2011 8:43AM
Cubs manager Mike Quade has been spending a lot of time on the water at home in Bradenton, Fla., lately, waiting for a good catch.
But what comes next for him, his coaching staff and their baseball team that struggled to a fifth-place finish in 2011? Well, that’s a whole different kind of waiting game that involves the immediate futures of almost everyone in the Cubs’ baseball operation from interim general manager Randy Bush to players, scouts and minor-league instructors.
And with more delays in the player-compensation talks with the Red Sox that could take the Theo Epstein announcement into early next week, the fates of dozens of team personnel remain in limbo for at least a few more days. And that doesn’t even count the secondary layer of changes in the front office, involving Epstein’s friend and San Diego GM Jed Hoyer joining the front office as Cubs GM.
Quade, who has a year left on his contract, hasn’t heard from anyone in the Cubs’ front office since the season ended and the pursuit of president-in-waiting Epstein began — something he says makes sense and doesn’t give him a second thought.
Even as he follows the slow drip of updates on the talks with the Red Sox, Quade said he doesn’t spend nearly as much time thinking about his job status as he does possible solutions to fix what went wrong with the team.
‘‘Until things are in place, there’s no sense getting too carried away with that,’’ said Quade, whose coaching staff includes three guys similarly signed through next season: bench coach Pat Listach, bullpen coach Lester Strode and hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo.
Mostly, these days are about home, quiet time on the water and fresh seafood for dinner.
‘‘There’s only so much you can do when you’re waiting to see who the new boss is going to be,’’ Quade said. ‘‘There’s a lot of work to do. Hopefully, they’ll get the thing done, and they can start sorting through some of the winter stuff. . . . It’s probably been a long grind, for [chairman] Tom [Ricketts] and Theo, and I hope for them and a lot of the other people involved they can get it done and get started with [team business].’’
Meanwhile, Quade waits, with no illusions about what could be coming — but no preconceived concerns.
‘‘You wait and see,’’ he said. ‘‘Once it happens, you look forward to the opportunity to talk to the new boss and see where we’re going with this. I could have all the ideas in the world, and the new GM could say we’re going in a different direction.
‘‘And every general manager’s different. I don’t know Theo at all. I’ve done the research and done my homework to a certain extent. But everybody’s a little different in how they go about business and look at stuff.
‘‘You hear stuff and get excited about this and that, but let’s just hope Tom gets the guy he wants and gets it done, and we’ll go from there.’’