By David Schuster–
Mike Quade is a huge fishing fan and using a term out of that sport he sure landed a whopper Tuesday. Who would have thought that the day he took over for Lou Piniella on an interim basis that the 53 year old Quade would eventually be named the Cubs full time Manager. I certainly didn’t and lost a bet that I made that day that somebody else would get the job. But who knew that Quade would go out and compile a 24-13 record over the teams final 37 games. And who thought that the entire clubhouse of players would come out in support of him at season’s end.
LISTEN: Full Mike Quade Press Conference
I’m sure the Cubs considered other options but in the end Quade made the most sense to them to lead this team over the next couple of years. Yes we all heard that they would wait for Joe Girardi but they must have been given indications that Giradi would stay with the Yankees. We also heard that it came down to Quade and Ryne Sandberg but Jim Hendry was fully in Quade’s corner and when Hendry and owner Tom Ricketts met to make the final decision, Hendry persuaded Ricketts that this was the right move. Hendry did tell me that he was upset with the perception that the Cubs screwed over Sandberg. It just was a simple case of who was the better man for the job according to the Cub’s General Manager.
Other factors that came into play were the fact that Quade is a very good teacher to young players and is extremely familiar with the Cubs minor league system. That very system is going to be counted on more and more as young players will eventually phase out the high priced veterans that are still on the major league roster. And if money was any factor then the Cubs saved themselves a good amount because Quade’s three year deal wont add up to what Girardi would have received in even one year.
But Tuesday was Quade’s day and he relished it for all it’s worth. He even loved talking to all the media and that included an appearance on the Boers and Bernstein show. A show he says he listens to on a regular basis. Now that’s what I call a big change from the last Cub Manager. Welcome aboard Mike.