View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003

Wednesday

2

November 2011

56

COMMENTS

Mike Quade Fired

Written by , Posted in General

A few minutes ago, what most of us thought was going to happen, happened:

““Jed Hoyer and I had an all-day meeting with Mike last Thursday at Wrigley Field, and Mike and I continued our dialogue with a lengthy phone conversation yesterday after the press conference.  Today, I flew to Florida to inform Mike in person that the Cubs have decided not to bring him back as our manager for the 2012 season.

“When I joined the Cubs last week, I knew that Mike had a reputation as an outstanding baseball guy, as a tireless worker, and as a first-rate human being.  After spending some time with him this past week, it became apparent to me that Mike’s reputation is well deserved.  His passion, knowledge of the game, commitment, and integrity stood out immediately.  While Mike is clearly an asset to any organization and any major league staff, Jed and I believe that the Cubs would benefit long-term from bringing in a manager for 2012 who can come in with a clean slate and offer new direction.

The managerial search process begins immediately.  We are looking for someone with whom and around whom we can build a foundation for sustained success.  The next manager must have leadership and communication skills; he must place an emphasis on preparation and accountability; he must establish high standards and a winning culture; he must have integrity and an open mind; and he must have managerial or coaching experience at the major league level.  I want to thank Mike for his nine years of excellent service to the Cubs, and we certainly wish him well in the future.”

Let me emphasize the “he must have managerial or coaching experience at the major league level” part. That would obviously leave fan favorite Ryne Sandberg out of the running. Other names I’ve seen rumored include Bud Black and Dale Sveum, and no Cub manager rumor would be complete without Bob Brenly.

I thought it would be Sandberg. I’m open minded about it, In Theo I Trust.

*UPDATE* on some Sandberg info from Barry Rozner:

“Theo called me 10 minutes after they issued the press release (on Mike Quade) and told me that they have a list of guys and I’m not on it,” Sandberg said Wednesday afternoon. “He wished me good luck and said he hoped I got a chance somewhere soon.

“He didn’t owe me that at all. He didn’t have to do that. It was a classy move and I’m very appreciative of the phone call. In the end, I wished him and everybody there good luck.”

To listen to Sandberg is to believe him when he says he wants nothing but the best for the Cubs and their fans, and thinks no one should be upset that Sandberg didn’t get the chance here.

“Cubs fans should have trust in Theo. They’re in great hands with him and Jed (Hoyer) and Jason (McLeod),” Sandberg said. “They’re heading in the right direction and they’re going to do everything in their power possible to get the Cubs where they ultimately want to be.”

  • Doug S.

    So long Mike. You were a breath of fresh air after Lou in 2010, but not much more. I’m already looking forward to baseball season.

  • AQBan

    I would like to see someone like Angels Pitching Coach Mike Butcher. He is from Illinois and he developed a lot of pitching talent for the Angels while he was their Minor League Pitching Coordinator including Bobby Jenks, Francisco Rodriguez and Ervin Santana.

  • Lando87

    I don’t care WHO we hire, because I’d rather have Quade as manager forever than have this happen:
    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/11/02/cardinals-ask-phillies-permission-to-interview-ryne-sandberg/

  • Lando87

    Okay, I do care who we hire. But one of my Cardinals’ fan friends texted me about Quade, said Sandberg is out of the running, and that it’s okay because Ryno will still get his chance with the Redbirds.

  • mrbaseball2usa

    Where’s my ‘LIKE’ button, dangit!

  • Maybe Raker can set Ryno up with some transition lenses for his interview.

  • mrbaseball2usa

    @Lando I can’t even fathom Sandberg joining St. Louis. If they hire him, I’m gonna have to take a long, hard look at my Cubbie courtship, and have a serious DTR.

  • Jedi

    Maybe we need to start putting things in terms that Theo can understand – like Ryno as manager of the Cards would be like Don Mattingly managing the Red Sox after Grady Little left.

    “He needs to lock that down.”

  • Chuck

    Surprisingly, I have little feelings about Ryno joining the Cards. I should be angry because a) I hate the Cards, b) Ryno was one of my favorite players growing up and c) he is on a short list of the greatest Cubs of all time. That being said, I understand that he has to grab whatever opportunity is presented to him. There are only 32 MLB manager jobs on the planet. If your goal is to get a MLB manager job, you have to grab it before it passes you by because you might not ever get the chance again.

  • Seymour Butts

    TLR

  • Pete S.

    Ryno would NOT be a good fit.

  • Seymour Butts

    AND Dave Duncan.

  • Flo

    That would be the ultimate “@#$* you” to the Cubs if that happened. And I might burn my jersey. But I don’t think it’ll happen. Cards fans are begging for Jose Oquendo, and rumor has it Pujols will definitely stay if Oquendo gets hired. They will do anything to keep Pujols.

  • Norm

    I really couldn’t care less if Sandberg went to the Cardinals.

  • Pete S.

    @Norm, agreed. Who cares where he goes? We need someone with experience at winning at the top level.

  • Jedi

    So then the list would be like this Pete?

    Leyland
    Scioscia
    Girardi
    Maddon
    Washington
    Manuel
    Bochy
    Brenly
    Francona

    Leyland’s too old
    Washington isn’t leaving (his dealer can’t relocate)
    Manuel is too old AND not leaving

    So we’re down to:
    Scioscia
    Girardi
    Maddon
    Bochy
    Brenly
    Francona

    One of those guys is likely taking a year off; the other four all have current jobs with teams SIGNIFICANTLY better than the Cubs; in fact each have good reason to think that they will win their current division in 2012. Something the Cubs don’t realistically offer. The other guy is Bob Brenly.

  • Norm

    Updated post with some Sandberg info from Barry Rozner…

    “Theo called me 10 minutes after they issued the press release (on Mike Quade) and told me that they have a list of guys and I’m not on it,” Sandberg said Wednesday afternoon. “He wished me good luck and said he hoped I got a chance somewhere soon.

    “He didn’t owe me that at all. He didn’t have to do that. It was a classy move and I’m very appreciative of the phone call. In the end, I wished him and everybody there good luck.”

    To listen to Sandberg is to believe him when he says he wants nothing but the best for the Cubs and their fans, and thinks no one should be upset that Sandberg didn’t get the chance here.

    “Cubs fans should have trust in Theo. They’re in great hands with him and Jed (Hoyer) and Jason (McLeod),” Sandberg said. “They’re heading in the right direction and they’re going to do everything in their power possible to get the Cubs where they ultimately want to be.”

  • Memphis via Chicago

    Ugh! Seeing Sandberg in Cardinal red is like taking a gut punch. My grandmother, God rest her soul, would roll over in her grave. My mother would probably just live in denial like she does about my sisters husband, but worse.

  • Flo

    Totally disagree. Ryno has earned it. He’s a winner. The other names I’m hearing (Mackanin and Sveum, for example) haven’t managed a winning team.

  • Flo

    It’s gotta be Brenly now. The dude has a ring.

  • mrbaseball2usa

    What about Bobby V? Heard his name kicked around on a few pages…

  • Jedi

    Valentine has never managed a division winner, never.

  • Norm

    Ken Rosenthal speculating it will NOT be a current manager and perhaps Mike Maddux
    Buster Olney speculating Dave Martinez and Pete Mackanin

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    Sorry guys, but I care a great deal where Ryno winds up. And despite the stomach churning idea the Cubs might have to face down perhaps their greatest living player as manager of their biggest rival, it’s not merely a sentimental thing, either.

    Sandberg’s worked extensively with many if not most of our minor league players, and his gifts as a player correspond directly to areas the Cubs need to improve in (infield defense, patient hitting, etc.). Beyond that, he’s a superb representative and spokesman for the team and for baseball in general. And he’s beloved enough (among most Cubs fans, anyway) that his presence might help buy time with the fans–time Epstein already said he needed to turn the team around.

    I don’t know how serious St. Louis can be about hiring so far away from La Russa’s managerial tree, and I’d like to think that Ryno wouldn’t take the job, even if they are serious. But I’m far more hopeful that the new Cubs manager–whoever he is–sees the value Sandberg can bring to the team and picks him up as a coach.

  • Pete S.

    @Jedi, neither has Ryno.

  • Jedi

    For clarification, I’m not saying we HAD to hire Ryno. But we certainly didn’t need to rule him out without so much as an interview either.

    So far every guy that is rumored to be in the running lacks MLB managing experience, and none of them know our players as well as Ryno.

    There are plenty of capable solutions, though virtually all of them lack MLB managerial experience. So why was it necessary to so definitively remove Ryno from the process (that’s the ONLY reason that final bit about MLB experience was in Theo’s release).

  • Jedi

    Yeah, but Pete I’m not the one advocating a manager with experience at the top level. In fact, I don’t understand the obsession with only pulling from the pool of guys who’ve already had success. Isn’t that the same thing we do with free agency all the time? Grab guys who *have been* good…I’m sick of it…let’s get someone who *will be* good.

  • Jedi

    And Pete I assume you’re talking about MLB divisions…because Ryno did quite a lot of winning with these turds that we keep promoting from our minor league teams.

  • chet

    I could see Maddux or Martinez….both have been given High praise and definitely “paid their dues” at the major league level…..

    Don’t need Sandberg as manager. The actual value of a manager is blown way out of proportion, especially on a bad team. You can’t carve rotten wood and you can’t polish a turd, no matter how good you are.

    Remember Alan Trammell? Every Tiger fan in the world got their wish and it was three miserable years. As a Tiger fan I felt the same about Tram as Cubs fans feel about Sandberg, all too familiar.

    Although Cubs fans will say nay, because it’s Ryno.

  • Norm

    Sandberg was interviewed for Boston’s AAA team last year. I would think Theo was in on that, and perhaps he already knows Sandberg is not the right fit for Theo’s vision.

  • Flo

    @Jedi, took the words right out of my mouth. Well said.

  • Jedi

    @Norm – and that’d be fine with me. But that doesn’t require yet another public non-hiring of Ryno. There’s really no need to come out and say “we’ve fired our manager and we know we’re not hiring the franchise icon.” It was sufficient at “we’ve fired our manager.” He can be honest with Ryno in private without making it a big deal again.

  • chet

    Mind you, hiring Sandberg as a coach would be a different story. I would take that in a heartbeat. I am pretty sure he wants to manage however…

    Maybe what many of the players on this team need is a manager that they don’t know and who doesn’t know them. Sometimes a total change is a good thing.

  • Norm

    I disagree. End it now so we don’t have to listen to weeks of speculation.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    I still anticipate weeks of speculation–there’s just one less name that’s being discussed. Not sure how that makes a difference.

  • Jedi

    Chet, you say Trammell, I say Scioscia. When you hire the right guy, experience and previous jobs don’t really matter.

    Norm, is he going to rule out every other candidate in the process too? I don’t hear the Cardinals saying “we aren’t hiring McGwire”…it just wasn’t necessary. With as quick as they’ve been moving it’s going to be days not weeks of speculation. Look at how the Yankees did it to Mattingly; speculation didn’t seem to cause a problem there.

  • Tony LaRussa

    I’m bored already.
    Any intriguing jobs open?

  • Noah

    Jedi- Theo specifically ruled out a large swath of candidates (anyone without MLB managing or coaching experience). Was there any way to not publicly decide not to hire Sandberg? If they just didn’t interview him without saying anything, people would have been upset then. This way you send the story here so the “why didn’t you even interview Sandberg” angle doesn’t become the big news story when a new manager is named. You let this be the story for a couple of days now and let it get out of everyone’s system.

  • Jedi

    Noah – let’s be real. Theo’s statement was designed to specifically rule out Ryno, not a bunch of guys that no one’s ever heard of. Ryno deserves better than the treatment he’s gotten from the Cubs in the last 13 months. (Oct. 2010 – we’re hiring this crazy person instead; Nov. 2011 – thanks, we’re not even considering you…look elsewhere).

  • I see here it says “[your] future’s so bright, you gotta wear shades.”

  • Dear Mr. Epstein,

    I hope you enjoyed your honeymoon. But you’ve had the job for long enough now that all of that enthusiastic welcoming with open arms is ancient history.

    Now (immediately after the firing of Quade) no one likes what you are doing. Better get used to it, it’s gonna be a long three or four years.

    Best regards, Rich

  • Doc Raker

    The list can include people with coaching experience in the bigs but not managerial experience. That opens the doors for a lot of names. I would like to see someone Theo knows get the job, I.e. Francona or someone on his staff and hire Ryne on the coaching staff. When the new manager is done then Sandberg gets his shot.

  • Norm

    Rich, well said

  • Jedi

    Some of us welcomed Theo with a healthy dose of cautious optimism.

  • Mark Strickler

    Today wasn’t a happy day for me. I hate to see Mike Quade go, I hoped he would get a chance to manage and was somewhat saddened by what happened. The results were what they were and, although Mike wasn’t on the field nor did he choose the players he did have a role in what happened. Besides the new management has the right to choose their guy and that’s why Ricketts hired them.

    Also I was very disappointed to see Ryno not even get an interview – this team is going to be rebuilding, they don’t need a manager to win in 2012 so why not pick a guy who works well with young players? Poor decision by Epstein – if Sandberg takes a job with STL as a manager or bench coach we’ll have a new curse, the Curse of Ryno.

  • Mark Strickler

    I forgot to mention in my previous post – hiring Davey Martinez would be a total slap in the face to Ryno, the allegations have never been proven but I don’t want to see that guy on the Cubs bench, even as a coach.

  • Jedi

    Mark – maybe Martinez would hire Rafael Palmeiro to be his bench coach. We could have a coaching staff full of guys who have violated Ryno…the rest of the organization doesn’t seem to think too much of him.

  • Buddy

    I never want to see somebody lose his job, but the Cubs will be better off without Quade.

  • AP

    One angle on the Cubs’ new manager that I don’t hear a lot is the “open minded” aspect of Theo’s press release. It seems like the sabermetric front offices prefer a guy who can handle egos well, but other than that, fills out the lineup card the way they’re told and doesn’t try to over manage the game. They’re probably not looking for a big name, just someone who has some street cred (to handle the players) and is willing to follow their philosophical lead. i.e. They’re not interested in guys who like to get cute and hit the pitcher 8th.

  • Noah

    Jedi, I’ve just to say it seems like you’re taking this a bit too personally as a proxy for Ryno. Sandberg himself has said that he thought the way Epstein handled this situation showed class. Here’s the question: would you have been happier had they interviewed him then not hired him? That would be worse in my opinion. Not only would that lead Sandberg along (again), but it could prevent him from taking another job while the Cubs make Sandberg wait it out.

    Let me put it this way: you’ve applied for two jobs, both of which are significant promotions, one of which is your dream job and the other is not quite your dream job but pretty close. The dream job has absolutely no intention of hiring you because you don’t meet a specific qualification they have for you holding that job. If they interview you, you have very high odds on losing out on the not quite as dream but still awesome job, because you’ll be waiting to hear from the dream job. If they don’t interview you, you can compete in full for the second job. Wouldn’t them leading you along be worse?

    Honestly, what I think made Sandberg so mad last season was that it eventually became clear that Hendry never actually seriously considered him for the job. It was always going to be Quade’s job. And by leading Sandberg on for a month it made it so that very few MLB bench coach, hitting coach or base coach jobs were still available. Making it clear up front is the better option to potentially maintain the relationship in the future.

  • cap’n obvious

    This managerial hire will tell me a lot about:

    A. How Epstein handles a ballclub without infinite financial resources.

    B. What financial resources Epstein will be dealing with.

    If they hire Brenly, at least I won’t have to listen to him during broadcasts…which I see as a plus.

  • Buddy

    The Cubs won’t hire Brenly to manage, and the Cards won’t hire Sandberg. You can take that to the bank.

  • Jedi

    Haha, not taking it personally at all. I’m sick of our front office buffoonery. This seems to be more of the same to me.

    What was Sandberg going to say? “I’m really mad that they didn’t consider me, again.” Don’t misconstrue his comments as happy. That’s just Ryno being classy like always.

    I’ve been pretty clear about what I would’ve preferred. Handle the ENTIRE ordeal behind closed doors, and on the day that they announce a new manager, it would then be obvious that Ryno isn’t the hire. No need to say he was included or excluded. You can tell Ryno he’s not being considered and let him move on, without telling it to the world just as bluntly.

  • BLPCB

    Wow, both of our rivals need new managers as well as us. I can’t stomach the kicks in the stomach if both teams hire our icons away

  • Eddie Von White

    We all have a lot of emotional attachment to Ryno – however business decisions should not be made on emotion. If Theo determines he is the best fit then I’m all for Sandberg being manager. If not, fine. I trust Theo’s judgment.

    Note – Don’t expect Theo to move mountains to try to keep the fan base happy. He let Roger Clemens and John Damen go to the hated Yankees and if it wasn’t for steroids his judgment on Clemens would have been right on. And arguably, Damen didn’t have a whole lot left in the tank either.

    Tony LaRussa just told us above that he is now looking for work. Let’s hire him. A WS title would quickly change our opinions of him.

  • Larry Sproul

    You have to try and seperate Ryno the player of the past . Now think of him as Ryno the manager .Theo is not going to make the mistake Jim Hendry did .

    Want a winning team ? Obtain a manager with a solid track record . Yes it would hurt to see Sandberg in St. Louis . But that is baseball and life goes on !!