11/2 Q: “They treated me right”
Managing the Cubs was a dream job for Mike Quade, who grew up in the Chicago area and became a fan of the team as a child. Losing that job on Wednesday was tough to take.
Theo Epstein met with Quade in Tampa, Fla., to tell him that he was being dismissed after one full season as manager. The Cubs finished 71-91, 25 games back in the National League Central.
“You’re disappointed, you’re bitter, you’re mad — a million things,” Quade said Wednesday by phone from his Bradenton, Fla., home. “I woke up this morning, grabbed a fishing rod, had a cup of coffee, and was managing the Cubs. Now you’re not. It’s a tough game. I’m not Lou Piniella or Tony La Russa or Tommy Lasorda or Bobby Cox. Time will tell.”
Quade, 54, met with Epstein and new Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer for nearly seven hours to discuss philosophy. It gave Quade a chance to answer questions Epstein and Hoyer had regarding the 2011 season.
“I enjoyed the exchange and felt good about the philosophical end of things, for sure,” Quade said. “They handled things well. They treated me right.
“People being up front and having character means more to me than anything and that was the case,” he said. “I’ve got nothing but good things to say [about the Cubs].”
He had several text messages and phone calls to return on Wednesday, including those from his coaches, who may or may not be retained. Hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, bench coach Pat Listach and bullpen coach Lester Strode have contracts for 2012. The new Cubs manager will have a say in his staff.
Quade was not offered another job in the Cubs organization.
“I think that would be an awkward situation,” he said.
But he does still wants to manage, and is hopeful he can join another team. Then he laughed, saying he was going to do whatever he could to beat the Cubs.
The team, which he followed as a kid in Prospect Heights, Ill., will always have a spot in his heart.
“There are so many good people in the organization, and not just my staff members, but the front office people and marketing people,” he said. “Those are the people you end up missing. You understand the game and that things happen.”
As for Epstein and Hoyer, Quade said he was impressed by the pair.
“They’re two bright young guys getting their group together,” he said. “They’re going to oversee things and do things their way.”
– Carrie Muskat