• Theo Epstein Flew To Florida To Deliver News
  • Calls Quade ‘Asset To Any Organization’
  • Sandberg Out? Candidate ‘must have managerial or coaching experience at the major league level.’

(CBS) The Cubs officially announced Wednesday that manager Mike Quade will not return to the team in 2012.

After meeting with Quade extensively last week, Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein flew to Florida Wednesday to inform the manager in person that the team was going to move in a different direction.

“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,” Epstein said in a statement. “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.”

Quade, who went 95-104 as the Cubs manager, had one year remaining on the two-year deal he signed shortly after the 2010 season.

Epstein also provided his criteria for new managerial candidates, which surprisingly rules out Ryne Sandberg because he has no coaching experience at the major league level.

“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.”