Before Thursday’s game against the Marlins, Cubs manager Mike Quade addressed the team. His message?
“Play better, execute better, pitch better, hit better,” Quade said. “We’ve got to be better. I talked to the guys right before the workout and it’s the healthiest group I’ve addressed since before [Randy] Wells and [Andrew Cashner] went down. Now let’s see if we can stay healthy and be a better team.”
Wells and Cashner were placed on the DL after their first starts of the season, so it’s been a long time since the club has been healthy.
“You have to put the first 90 games behind you and look forward and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Quade said.
Someone asked Quade if the Cubs needed change for change’s sake:
“I’ve heard that used several times — not here but in other places — and I despise that wording,” Quade said. “Maybe it does apply somewhere that I’m not associated with.
“I think there should be reasons, whether it’s this sport or business or anything else,” he said. “It usually means people don’t want to say why they’re making changes. ‘Oh, let’s just change things.’ It’s probably because things are going well and it’s time. Every time I hear that, it’s like, ‘Be more specific, please.'”
He was specific to the players.
“There’s a lot of things out of our control, so let’s make sure we take care of the things we can control, whether it’s executing fundamentals or whatever the case may be,” he said.
The Cubs went 24-13 under Quade in the final six weeks of 2010. He’s hoping for that same level of performance.
“What I saw last year when these guys finished up so well, you’d like to see more of the same,” Quade said. “The thing to draw from to me is these guys didn’t suddenly start beating people 9-1. We won a lot of close ballgames, we pitched very effectively, we caught the ball better than we have. We did a lot of little things better than we have now.”
— Carrie Muskat