Bernstein: Finally, The Cubs’ Manager Is Normal

By Dan Bernstein–

It should not be a luxury to have an actual person in charge of your baseball team.

After four years of Dusty Baker and more than three of Lou Piniella, though, a Cubs fan is allowed to celebrate the small victory of hearing each day from something other than a cartoon character.

This is not to say that Mike Quade is some kind of revelation, baseball genius, or chosen deliverer of freedom from the bonds of failure. He may be a good manager, maybe not. Most likely, he’s like all of them, somewhere in between.

But it’s nice to know, at least, that the voice we will hear most from the Cubs this spring and summer sounds like that of a regular human being.

The manager is the first and busiest point of interaction with the media, and, therefore, the fans. His is the team’s voice. For those of us who actively consume two franchises worth of Chicago baseball, the respective managers’ words join the soundtrack of our season.

The dugout on one side of town provides a stream of abrupt, unfiltered Spanglish about anything and everything. The other now brings us Quade’s amiable chatter.

Baker wore thin faster than we imagined. The toothpick-flipping was cute, until it just looked affected and weird. As it became clearer over time that his only managerial skills were tacitly endorsing steroid use and making sure his players were jerks, he ended up in a state of constant defensiveness, using the same playbook every time, every issue: say “dude” a few times, globalize the concern (“It ain’t just us, it’s everybody”), then attack the questioner.

For some of us, it was over the moment he literally hid behind his toddler to deflect questions after the epic collapse in the NLCS — one of the most naked acts of cowardice ever perpetrated by a coach or manager.

His tenure ended with shameful, predictable race-baiting, complete with hack reports from compromised national writers describing hate mail nobody ever actually saw. An ugly conclusion to a tenure that turned sour early.

Then another expensive rainmaker blew into town, bringing a World Series ring that was proof he’d get another. The stammering, potbellied Piniella came in chuckling about “Cubbie swagger,” and left weeping, slouched on a folding chair in a dank storage room.

The lovable gramps morphed into the angry old coot as he seemed to be blindsided by the intensity of attention. He’d entertain us by erupting every once in a while, but eventually withdrew into the same fatalism evinced by Baker – powerless against the forces swirling around him, all too often shrugging, asking “Whaddaya want me to do?”

Perhaps the lesson, then, is right in front of me. We should enjoy Quade while we can.

For the moment, I’ll appreciate a manager who seems to have an ability to relate confidently and comfortably, unafraid of saying the wrong thing. No jive act, no hand-holding by a nervous, hostile PR flack.

Here’s hoping he avoids the fate of his predecessors, lest he end up straitjacketed and gibbering, taking the padded-ambulance ride to the special home on the hill.

bernstein 90x130 Bernstein: Finally, The Cubs Manager Is Normal

Dan Bernstein

Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM.
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  • Larry Horse's Arse

    I gotta give Matt props for being the only voice in town who thought that Pinella was a mistake from the get-go.

    Let’s hope that Quade does a good job….he will have some pressure because he is not Ryno…and because it is the Cubs (1908 et al).

    I’m a Sox fan, but Quade seems like a good and decent guy.

    • EK

      I agree LHA – I remember driving home from work and hearing Matt say “The Cubs will not win a world series with Lou Piniella” and thought “I don’t know man, I think he has a chance!”

      I think I admitted defeat right after the second first round sweep.

      Damn you sweet Lou!

  • Larry Horse's Arse

    Anyone see the effin’ Illini game vs. Purdue yesterday afternoon???

  • Larry Horse's Arse

    Oh yeah, Bernsie, one more thing.
    The last time the Cubs replaced a cartoonish manager for a normal guy was when Bruce Kimm took over for Don Baylor in 2002.
    How’d that work out???

  • meesohawnee

    hey look at the bright side Larry. now your down to only 4 bulls blogs a week

    • Larry Horse's Arse


      You are right.
      I fully expected a Boo/NBA (Celtics-Heat) blog today.

  • Denver Deadite

    The photos accompanying this blog entry are something. Bernsie’s makes him look like a serial killer, and Quade’s makes him look like something out of a horror film.

    Anybody else find it highly ironic that the now-most outspoken of the greediest NFL owners is the one who was a former player? Kinda says something about what money does to some people, doesn’t it?

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      If we have a lock-out, blame effin’ Jerry Jones in my opinion.

      • Denver Deadite

        I blame Harry Baals!

      • Murphs Upper-Lip

        This is just to good to be true; Harrys wifes name??? Minnie.

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      And, yes, the photos look anything BUT normal!!!!

  • turn off the tv dan

    another brave “blog” attacking people? try to defecate on Santo or Chris Henry’s grave some more.

    funny, on your little program you race bait all the time whenever it’s convenient.

  • Jake from da Burbs

    There’s something comical about a blog title with a manager being called normal and then having THAT picture next to it. LOL…

    I see Quade as simply a guy that takes the Cubs through this 2 year transitory period and sets it up for the next cub manager who should be coming in as result of a new Cubs GM.

    I have nothing against Quade and he does seem like a normal, competent manager, but if he has to be the sacrificial lamb to get Hendry fired, then so be it.

    Unfortunately, on this front, I think the Cubs are going to have a decent year (82 win season) and finish probably 3rd in the division which buys Hendry more time to spin the lies and illusion to Tom Ricketts that the team is turning it around and can contend by 2012.

    The fact of the matter is Hendry is clueless and is so old school that he has lost touch of the new realities of being a GM. This team still has no long term vision, long term goals. They lack the ability to evaluate talent, draft talent, develop talent and move talent through the minor leagues. Fiscally, Hendry is one of the more irresponsible GM’s in baseball and again has no ability to evaluate onfield talent and make judgment calls as to who to keep and who to trade while they still have value.

    Unfortunately, Quade’s big league chance had to come during Hendry’s tenure and that will probably slant my feelings towards him.

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      I think he looks like Uncle Fester in the photo.

      I completely, totally agree with you about Hendry.

      Quade is a competent baseball lifer, glad to see him get his shot, but Hendry has got to go before the Cubs will ever get better.

  • Beverly Brewmaster

    I would like to take a minute to thank Paul Sullivan for his insightful column in yesterday’s Trib which clarified that it’s up to the Cubs to win for Quade. It was just last week that my wife and I were debating that very topic. I thought it was up to the Cubs to win for former manager Jim Essian, while she maintained it was up to the Pirates to win for Quade. Now we know we were both wrong.

  • Frank in Oak Park

    Hey I have a question for Hub….

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      Sorry, but Hub won’t be talking down to us for several more months.

      • Spoon

        Takes a lot of time to tally up phantom picks during the off season.

  • Jon in Hyde Park

    I’s normally calls the Mully and Hanly’s shows, but I’s got sumptin to say

    Keel, Keel, the White Man
    Keel, Keel, the White Man!

  • Paruch

    10 years from now, you will see no blacks at all.

    • Murphs Upper-Lip

      “I don’t know where you’re from, Black, but you’re on the air.”

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        That effort from Big Doug should have been QOTY instead of the horsesh!t quote from Mel Gibson which will never be used again.

      • White Men Can't Pump Gas

        8 consecutive blacks

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        Great moniker, LOL!

  • Harry Tinynutz from ESPN 1000

    Hey guys, you still listening to this joker? The guy that mocks callers, the dead and the military? Turn into the Afternoon Saloon, and don’t forget to get yourself a SLINGBOX

    • Vuc

      He and Mike Martz both look like bull-d!kes.

      • Larry Horse's Arse


        “It’s funny ’cause it’s true.” Homer J. SImpson.

    • AT3374

      Only if you promise to fall off a horse everyday

  • Madisoncubaholic

    Ya know…does look a little like a hybrid of an orc and a goblin


    He may have gone 24-13 on an interim basis as Cubs’ manager following Lou Piniella’s sudden retirement, but Mike Quade will soon find out that just because he’s the full time skipper it doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll continue to win with the roster he has now. Baseball Prospectus already has the Northsiders for just 70 wins and a 5th place finish in the N.L. Central this season.

    As for the NBA, the Celtics may have beaten the Heat yesterday, but they may have paid a price for their win in the process. Paul Pierce had just 1 point in their 85-82 home win at TD Garden yesterday, and there’s concern in Boston now regarding his foot. An MRI is scheduled for today.

    • Spoon

      ” Baseball Prospectus already has the Northsiders for just 70 wins and a 5th place finish in the N.L. Central this season.”

      Isn’t this roughly where they had the Sox last year too?

      I’ve pretty much tossed out every stat that predicts sports season records at this point. They might only win 70 games, but i could draw a number out of a hat and probably get just as close to reality.

      • Mike Murphy

        If you’re interested MY GUY!!! John Dewan will be on later to discuss those so called baseball prospectus results.

        Hey looking for a new car, go see MY GUY!! Jack Pheeeelann, Jack Pheeelan Chevorlet!

      • Mike Murphy

        btw who’s this Larry Horse joker, I’D LIKE A WORD WITH HIM!!!

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        Outstanding…the Pheeelan bit had me roflmao

  • George Oscar Bluth

    Wait, when did Billy Corgan eat Skeletor and become the manager of a baseball team?

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      LOL…that was frickin’ brilliant!

    • Spoon

      You get +1 interwebz.

  • Jon, Montgomery

    wow, just saw this…

    now you tell me if that crosses the line. i think it does…

    • Cman

      He should have been called for a technical foul. This isn’t funny or cute. It would be in a basketball court at the local gym, but not when the Miami Heat team is trying to discuss strategy.

  • Larry Horse's Arse

    Yup, crosses the line.

    But eff the effin’ Heat!!!

  • thebizkit

    Rajon Rondo is such a damn dirty player but the guy want’s to win, I found the video more funny than anything else. Honestly what could have the Heat done to him? Hit him which would lead to ejections and then really be out of the game or have some lesser known player basically shield him away with his body.

    Funny video though.

  • Chet's Deflated Ego

    Great stuff today guys, btw am I the only one panicking the Bears might lose MIke Tice?

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      Is Tice going to become a ticket broker for aftermarket tickets to the Super Bowl and other big events???

      • Chet's Deflated Ego

        That, and he also might dabble on the side as Titans OC, for the recently fired, and Dekalb native, Mike HideMyDinger

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        Thanks for the info on Tice/Titans.
        I was unaware of that…but I’m a dumb@ss.

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      And Chet really must be deflated doing podcasts sponsored by the cab company and sports reports on the Lake County IN public television station.
      Mazel tov, couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

      • Chet's Deflated Ego

        A job’s a job, I’m also on twitter

  • Lou

    I’m not Italian, I’m spanish

    • Jaimie in Hoffman Estates

      Speaking of spanish people, what ever happened to that guy, that would post his reply in spanish and he would tell us the specials at this restaurant? Also rooftop bum and traffic guy need to make an appearance.

      • Jon, Montgomery

        i think they quit after the previous website was launched, too bad.

        we’ve lost some good posters over the years. i wish they’d come back.

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        Jon, I’m afraid you are right.

        Another really smart poster was Second Half Adjustments and we don’t see him very often either.

  • James

    That’s an awful pic of Quade. The pic makes him look like and extra in “The Hills Have Eyes.” C’mon Score, find a better pic.

  • Bob Loblaw

    Quade looks like a cross between old school Nosferatu and the bottom of my foot in that picture.

    I bet Joe Cowley had a hand in posting it. Either way, what’s that dope doing in Cub camp. Someone put his cowardly @ss on a plane to see Murph!

  • cman

    I’m still waiting for a “normal” radio announcer on the WSCR afternoon show… one isn’t a “know it all” and belittles listeners and callers. What is normal? Is Bernstein “normal”?

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      I think that Matt and Jason are more “normal”.

      • Cman

        I agree

  • Big Doug

    Bulls,Suxs, Cubs


    Alex Rodriguez’s contract raised the bar. It is a bad contract for the very reason that one man cannot win a World Series. He performed, but he didn’t (and this is the point can’t) do the work of the equivalent of 4 players, which he was paid.

    And, closer to home, Carlos Marmol cannot take the mound enough times to make a 20 million dollar contract work. Not for the Cubs. Not for a team that is begging for tax dollars.
    “meet the new boss; same as the old boss.”

    • Jaimie in Hoffman Estates

      SPAULDING!, couldn’t agree more. That Kevin Brown deal in 1998, witch made him the first $100 million dollar man, was bad, too.

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