New Chicago Cubs’ manager Mike Quade has already faced a wide range of tests, and he’s passed them all.

He won rave reviews for managing the Cubs to a winning mark over the final six weeks of last season as an interim skipper. In the offseason, he won the job on a full-time basis.

This spring, his managerial skills were put on quick call when pitcher Carlos Silva and third baseman Aramis Ramirez got into a dugout scuffle. He diffused the situation with a team meeting the next day, and Silva was released over the weekend.

Now comes the real challenge. Can he direct the Cubs back into contender status in the NL Central where they finished fifth a year ago?

Chicago has acquired former Tampa Bay Rays, including talented right-hander Matt Garza and free agent first baseman Carlos Pena. The Cubs open the season at home Friday against Pittsburgh.

Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. STATS LLC and The Associated Press contributed to this article. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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