Bernstein: I Really Like Mike Quade (I Hope He Can Manage)

By Dan Bernstein–

I’m rooting like hell for Mike Quade to succeed in his new, unlikely job as Cubs’ manager.

(I have no idea if he’s going to be any good at it)

It’s a great story when a middle-aged, longtime minor-league lifer gets a chance to skipper a high-profile MLB club. As we’ve said before, he’s especially welcome after the angry, bullheaded Dusty Baker and the stammering, semiretired Lou Piniella, who seemed blindsided by attention and criticism.

(There’s a reason why some baseball guys stay in the minors for years. They’re considered lightweights, lacking the gravitas to command a clubhouse full of multi-millionaire egos)

Quade seems to be comfortable with who he is and what he needs to do. He answers questions honestly and completely, seeming to enjoy the aspect of his job that provides the most direct interaction with fans.

(Loquacious managers and coaches in big cities often get burned by saying something they shouldn’t, or having something innocuous unfairly misrepresented. The ensuing blowback leaves them wary and distrustful, relying on clichés and banalities)

Players like Quade. Unlike Piniella, he posts his lineups one day in advance, letting guys know beforehand about a scheduled off day.

(Being liked is not necessarily a good thing. Kids like substitute teachers, too. Being respected matters more, and that comes from a delicate, complicated process over time, not just by making life easy. And players like to know about those off days so they can stay out late drinking. Good luck relying on some of them if needed unexpectedly for a day game)

He’s actually shown he can do the job, and well. He managed a previously-aimless Cubs team to a 24-13 record after he took over as interim manager last year, getting solid performances out of both unknown call-ups and revitalized vets. He even handled Carlos Zambrano upon his return from happy lessons.

(That’s too small a sample of games, and not really applicable. Market observers refer to that kind of uptick as a relief rally, or a dead-cat bounce – not reliable data to inform big decisions on future investments. It is no indication of how this year’s team may respond.)

He’s cool. He listens to Led Zeppelin, drives a broken-down truck, and doesn’t seem to have an ego.

(Led Zeppelin is still “cool?” A 54-year-old man should like them, since they were in their heyday when he was in high school and college. What music is he supposed to have on in his office? Chuck Mangione? Enya? Gregorian chanting? And get a car deal. And good managers have egos.)

After nearly a decade of bluster, swagger and drama, it’s refreshing to see that the guy in charge of the Cubs is a regular person. Everything becomes more likeable when the face of the team is devoid of the negatives his predecessors brought with their outsized reputations.

(He’s here because it’s a rebuilding year, even if nobody’s willing to say it. Quade is the inexpensive caretaker until they can get out from under some bad contracts, and then figure out a way to justify keeping the payroll as high as it is. He carries no negatives because at this point, he’s still a cipher.)

Here’s an opening-day good luck wish to a seemingly good guy who finally got a break.

(That blue hat does things to people. Beware.)

bernstein 90x130 Bernstein:  I Really Like Mike Quade (I Hope He Can Manage)

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. Read more of Bernstein’s blogs here. Follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.
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  • Larry Horse's Arse

    Seems like a good guy…..minor league lifer.
    I think the Cubs were wise to go with him rather than Ryno.

  • Larry Horse's Arse

    I would not bet on Quade getting an endorsement deal with SportClips.

    • Chet Coppock

      For the record, Quade has a condition called alopecia, something I’m sure he has been teased about since he was a youth. But continue on with your senseless, childish jokes.

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        Thanks for the news bulletin, that has to be the 750th time we have learned about Quade’s alopecia. Keep staying on top of things Chester, maybe you can interview your buddy Milt Pappas for some breaking Cubs news.

      • Chris in Scottsdale

        “You mean the guy I’m managing against today can’t even grow his own hair? COME ON!”

      • Chet's Inflated Ego

        Shut up Chet, nobody likes you

      • Chris in Scottsdale

        I had the pleasure of doing a phone interview with Milt Pappas when I was back in Rockford about 12 years ago. He called A-Rod a five-letter-word for kittykat that starts with a ‘P’ and ends with an ‘ussy’ right on air. Needless to say he became one of my favorite players on the spot, though I was born after he retired.

      • Jon

        Does anyone remember when Milt Pappas was in the booth with Len and Bob a few years ago? It was one of the most awkward thing ever. He went on a tangent about how his life sucks and all his money problems. I don’t think he has been back since.

  • mike in davenport

    I’m optimistic about the Cubs for no other reason than the other NL Central teams don’t look great. The Reds look better than they have in years, but Dusty is their manager. I know I will probably (deservedly) be painted as a Dusty hater, but he is just not a good strategist, and gets outmanaged at the worst times. Over 162 games, and however many more in the postseason, that bears out. He has no positive effect on the club, only the potential for negative.

    The only thing that really makes me nervous about the Cards is that Pujols is in his contract year, and we all know what superstars tend to do in contract years.

    As far as the Brewers, people think they will be good every year, and they aren’t. Until they show otherwise, I have them in 4th.

    Are there other NL Central teams? I forget.

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      I wonder if Dusty will kill Chapman’s arm like he has done to so many other young pitchers.

      • mike in davenport

        I’m not going to lay all the blame for Prior and Wood on him – they both seem injury prone regardless of who manages. He certainly didn’t help, however.

        Like I said, he brings no positives to the table; only the potential for negative.

    • Peter (in Rogers Park)

      Yep. You would have thought that Brewers’ up-and-comer status had reached its expiration date by now.

      • SPAULDING!

        Add them to the:
        Oakland A’s
        Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaormirs (Carolina, Miami, Tennessee. . . .)
        Uh Capitals, Rangers, Canadiens
        Come to think of it, the hype machine doesn’t get revved up that much in the NBA
        (the NFL is, just a little, over-the-top)

  • bigtime sucker

    it’s going to be what, 42, windy rainy cold and possibly snowy, i am so glad i didn’t waste money on a ticket today!!! i used to go to opening day and the only sensation i ever got from it was the chills. Hot chocolate was more appetizing than beer and it was miserable. all for what? the first game? a game that is hardly an indicator on what kind of season will unfold this year!!! there will be 40,000+ there today and 15,000 there tomorrow, why? because it’s frickin cold and the season is 162 games long and these games while not meaningless, don’t mean all that much.

    • Jaimie in Hoffman Estates

      Yeah, i usually dont get to Wrigely untill mid May, weater is to $hitty to sit out in the bleachers and enjoy it. I predict(thanks for the lead in Murph) Cubs finish with 75-80 wins, just not enough depth or consistency. Reguardless glad to see the season start.


    Oh, and I’m here to testify what happens when students find out that you’re not there to be their friends. it’s like the front row at a G ‘N Rs’ concert.

    Pitching side stories: The Mark Prior reclamation project (too bad, it’s for NY), the Jake Peavy reclamation project. Then there’s the fact that MLB will add a fourth outfielder next year. On the bubble outfielders/ second baseman will be looking for that new spot.

    Did anyone see Chavez Ravine last night? Nice glimpse of California sun and baseball in dreary March.
    Go Cubs!

  • Meatless Meatball

    I had the same reservations about Tom Thibodeau, Dan. There, you have a lifelong assistant coach who, for one reason or another, never got his shot. I’m thrilled to say I was wrong about him. Here’s hoping Quade has any semblance of the regular-season success Thibs has had so far.

    Of course, all this is relative. Thibodeau hasn’t won a single playoff game as a head coach yet, either.

  • Ry

    I can’t wait for the meatball callers on the B&B show this year who are furious as hell that Quade isn’t angry and Hispanic.

  • Jaz Kelly

    I guess I can still be hopeful about Quade, Bernstein didn’t actually say he would be succesful. That would be the kiss of death. And thanks for the info, Chet. I would well imagine any sensitivity about being folically challenged would have left Mr Quade a loooong time ago. I actually think he’s got a great sense of humor and I could imagine him doing a Sportsclips commercial. And it would be pretty gosh darn funny.

  • Spoon

    Does anyone else picture Bernsie having conversations like this, with himself, all the time? I can just picture him sitting on the couch, debating himself.

    • Chris in Scottsdale

      I don’t know why, but that made me belly-laugh… and I can see it, hand motions and all.

    • Denver Deadite

      Sounds like Bernsie would be interested in the new Gmail Motion!


    • Murphfan1138

      Looked like he was trying to give two blog entries for the price of one here…either that, or he didn’t want to look too optimistic (heaven forbid anyone at the Score should act like a cheerleader).

  • Denver Deadite

    Oh, the baseball season has started? I guess that means my sports summer vacation is almost ready to begin!

    The regular cr!ppers, while they have consistent quality, need to tighten things up a bit. Else Goff is going to be reloading the shotgun on a more regular basis.

  • Jon

    Just a shout out to B.Brewmaster for a great cr@p yesterday

  • bronzo

    Good Blog today Dan…I like Quade too…As a Sox fan I of course hope the Cubs lose more than they win but he seems like a genuinely good guy. I liked the way he fired back at Silva . In his interviews he actually answers questions and doesn’t talk down to you.

    The fact that he listens to Led Zeppelin is just a bonus…I listen to Zeppelin almost evrey day.

    • bigtime sucker

      not having a track record to fall back on is the best turd proofing a new manager can have

  • bigtime sucker

    or to put it another way, to quote john avildson director of rocky talking about sylvester stallone as both writer and star of movie,”nothing is better than a starving actor, they have so much drive and are willing to do anything”

    • bronzo

      that’s a good analogy…because obviously this being his first managing gig…he’ll try just about anyhting and use anybody to be successful …. Which they are going to need to do.


    For what it’s worth, The SCORE’s Zach Zaidman reported in one of his updates that Mike Quade took the Red Line to Wrigley Field today for Opening Day. While Quade appeared to do a good job once Lou Piniella suddenly stepped down as Cubs’ manager late in the season, I hope he’s ready for likely showdowns with Carlos Zambrano, Alfonso Soriano and other high-priced veterans who try to show him up this upcoming season. I hope Quade is also prepared for possible long losing streaks along the way in his first full season as the Cubs’ skipper and how he reacts to them. Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint and I hope Quade knows what he has gotten himself into.

    As for Major League Baseball on the whole, here’s a shameless plug for my Facebook page. Given the fact they officially started the MLB season in 6 other ballparks, and only 1 was played in halfway decent weather between the Giants & Dodgers in Los Angeles, I posted an appropriate song for “Commissioner” Allan H. Selig scheduling Opening Day in several cold weather locations, including the White Sox at (Not So) Progressive Field in Cleveland on 670 The SCORE at 1:30p and the Cubs & Pirates at Wrigley. For Selig to schedule so many games in cold weather cities, I have Climax Blues Band’s 1976 classic “Couldn’t Get It Right” link posted right now on my page at It only seems fitting for a “Commissioner” who keeps getting it wrong…

  • Watching2011

    Bernzie seems to know a lot of nothing about any one sport. One day its the Hawks taunting( knows nothing, poor article), next day it’s Bruce Weber( garbage article) and now he is second gussing the mangerial skills of the new Cub Manager. Thinks he know why guys get stuck in the minors. Uses words like loquacious. Try to be an expoert on one sport and not a novice on all.

  • Jon, Montgomery

    are you guys watching the sox game? it was 14-0 after the 4th inning!!! LMAO!

  • Bob Loblaw

    I don’t care if Quade can only grow hair BY CRACKIE!!!! Why the hell did he leave Dempster in another inning? DUMB-ASSED!


      He wanted to make sure that Dempster was out of gas. Big head-scratcher myself.
      I’d like to know if Dempster didn’t have location issues in Arizona.

      At least, Samardizja got himself out of a jam. Bullpen tightened up, and they scored a late, inning run.
      And, then, the Whitesox decided to lay a bounty of white horse hide at are feet.


    One garbage 2nd period.

    Maybe it was a very elaborate April Fool’s Joke

  • Navi

    The article was fine until the final comment about “that blue hat…” That was an unnecessary dig.

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