Results tagged ‘ Lou Piniella ’

9/13 GM: Quade doing "outstanding job"

GM Jim Hendry said Monday that Mike Quade, who took over for Lou Piniella on Aug. 23, is doing an “outstanding job” as manager.

“He’s managing the game well, he’s managing the personnel well, managing the people and the clubhouse well,” Hendry said of Quade, who was the Cubs’ third base coach before being named to replace Piniella for the final six weeks.

“He’s certainly done a very good job,” Hendry said. “I think the guys are playing hard for him. Obviously, we’re playing a lot of young guys and pitching a lot of young guys. Like I told him, I was never hung up on what our record would be. We’re winning our share and getting improvement out of some of the young kids. I give him a lot of credit. I think he’s done a real good job so far.”

The Cubs have gone 11-7 since Quade took over, winning four of the last six series. The team was in fifth place in the National League Central when Piniella retired, returning home to Tampa, Fla., to take care of his ailing mother. The Cubs easily could’ve given up on the season.

“We thought we’d be adding for a potential postseason run and obviously, it was the opposite and when you have that many type of guys expecting to contend or used to contend, it can go south,” Hendry said. “I applaud [Quade] for the work he’s done with the veteran players and not just the kids.”

Quade, obviously, is a candidate for the Cubs job but Hendry also has others to consider, including Triple-A Iowa manager and Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg. There is no set time frame as to when Hendry will name the 2011 manager except that he’d like him in place by the organizational meetings, which will be in early November.

— Carrie Muskat

9/13 Cubs Cookbook update

Thanks to everyone who has purchased a copy of the Cubs Cookbook. It ranked 15th in sales among Sports & Recreation books for the week ending Sept. 5, according to the Wall Street Journal. Looking for a gift idea? Or just want to make Marlon Byrd’s baked ziti? Remember, proceeds from the sale go to Ryan Dempster’s foundation. The cookbook features more than 60 recipes from Cubs players, past and present, as well as Lou Piniella’s wife Anita’s chicken salad and a pecan-crusted fish entree from Mike Quade. Plus, there are recipes from some of Chicago’s top restaurants, such as Harry Caray’s, Hub 51, Wildfire, Twin Anchors and more. You can purchase the cookbook at Chicago area Jewel stores and Meijer stores, as well as online at (Go to the “Fans” section or do a search).

— Carrie Muskat


9/11 Keeping everybody happy

One of the things that was tough for Cubs manager Lou Piniella to do was keep his four outfielders happy in terms of playing time. Mike Quade says it has been a challenge.

“It’s difficult for me,” Quade said about getting enough at-bats for Kosuke Fukudome, Marlon Byrd, Alfonso Soriano and Tyler Colvin. “I don’t lose sleep over much but it usually involves personnel decisions. Everybody’s playing well.”

On Saturday, Fukudome got a rare start against a lefty in Milwaukee’s Randy Wolf. Expect Colvin back in the lineup Sunday.

“It’s a great problem to have,” Quade said, “and you respect the fact they all want to play every day and it makes it difficult when a guy gets a day or two more than he wants off. We’ll continue to keep rotating them.”

What about the callups such as Brad Snyder and Sam Fuld? Could they get spot start in the outfield?

“My sense is as we get through St. Louis [Monday through Wednesday], and we’ll look to get some people [a start],” he said. “It’d be a lot easier if I had a banged up outfield. … I stay focused on the guys who deserve to play every day.”

— Carrie Muskat

9/11 Ramirez on Q, injury, contract

Aramis Ramirez says there’s no timetable for him to exercise the $14.6 million player option on his contract for 2011, saying the team has other issues that are higher priorities, such as naming a manager. Who the Cubs hire won’t be a factor in his decision, Ramirez said.

“I don’t think a $6 [million] or $7 million manager can make any difference,” Ramirez said Saturday. “You still have to have good players and that’s the key.”

Mike Quade, who took over for Lou Piniella on Aug. 23, has impressed Ramirez so far.

“‘Q’ is good,” Ramirez said. “‘Q’ has a good relationship with everybody. He’s done a great job. You can see he’s on top of the game. He doesn’t miss anything. He communicates well with the players. That’s key with the players.”

Quade has managed in the Minor Leagues for 17 years, so he hasn’t had much experience with veteran players. But Ramirez said they’ve communicated well. And he still knows who’s the boss.

“He’s got the last word,” Ramirez said of Quade. “He’ll do what he wants. He’s just telling you what he’s going to do. He’s not asking you for permission to do it. He tells you that you’re not playing Saturday, he’s not asking you if you don’t want to play Saturday. He’s got the last word.”

Quade appreciated the comments.

“I do what I do and that’s a heck of a lot better than bad feedback,” Quade said. “I talk to everybody. Obviously, the conversations are different between veterans and younger guys but people are people and I don’t think because I’m a young guy or I’m new in town means I’ll just talk to the kids.”

* Bothered by a sore right quad, Ramirez was available to pinch-hit Saturday for the Cubs and was expected to return to the starting lineup Monday against the Cardinals. He has not started since last Sunday when he came out of the game in the eighth and took batting practice for the first time Friday. The time off this week has not only given his leg time to heal but also his left thumb, which he sprained earlier and which continues to nag him.

— Carrie Muskat

9/6 Cubs wives & cookbook event

The Cubs Wives will be selling copies of the Cubs Cookbook today at the Jewel store on 2940 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago from 12:30-2 p.m. CT. Proceeds from the sale benefit the Ryan Dempster Foundation. The book features more than 60 recipes selected by Cubs players, coaches and others, including Hall of Famers Billy Williams and Ernie Banks. There’s also Lou Piniella’s favorite chicken salad recipe and a very good pecan-crusted fish recipe from manager Mike Quade. Plus, the book includes a history of food at Wrigley Field and recipes from some of the top restaurants in Chicago. It’s all for a good cause.

— Carrie Muskat

8/31 Hendry talks to Ryno; Quade keeps working

While Cubs general manager Jim Hendry is in Albuquerque with the Triple-A Iowa team to talk to Ryne Sandberg about the Major League job, Mike Quade is taking care of business in Chicago.

Hendry is in the early stages of the interview process to find a replacement for Lou Piniella, who retired on Aug. 22. So far, Hendry has talked to former Cleveland manager Eric Wedge. Sandberg, currently managing the Triple-A Iowa team, has made it clear he’d like to be the one who replaces Piniella. One option the Cubs may try to sell Sandberg on is being a coach on the big league staff.

Quade has spent 17 seasons as a Minor League manager; Sandberg is in his fourth season. Since taking over for Piniella on Aug. 23, the Cubs have gone 5-2 under Quade.

“The biggest difference to me,” Quade said about managing in the Minors versus the Major Leagues, “has been the crush of information I have to process. You process information at the Triple-A level, you’ve got left-right matchups, but you don’t have the specifics and the sample size and [Alfonso] Soriano has 40 at-bats off somebody [for example].”

Quade used to rely on hand-written notes when he managing in Des Moines and Huntsville and Rockford. Now, he has complicated computer print outs to decipher.

The other switch from being a third base coach to a big league manager has been dealing with the media on a daily basis.

“It’s a lot more fun talking to you guys after a big win, obviously,” Quade said. “It’s all good and you guys didn’t bother me for three, four years so I guess I’m overdue.”

Sandberg, a Hall of Fame second baseman, is in his first year at Triple-A after spending two seasons with Class A Peoria and the 2008 season with Double-A Tennessee. He led the Smokies to the Southern League championship series last year. This year, the Iowa Cubs have a half game lead in the Pacific Coast League Northern Division.

— Carrie Muskat

8/28 Lineup & B-days

Tyler Colvin is in left field and Kosuke Fukudome in right for Saturday night’s Cubs game against the Reds and Bronson Arroyo. And Saturday not only is Lou Piniella’s birthday but also starting pitcher Randy Wells’ and strength coach Tim Buss’ special day. Here’s the lineup:

2B DeWitt

SS Castro

CF Byrd

3B Ramirez

1B Nady

LF Colvin

RF Fukudome

C Hill

P Wells

— Carrie Muskat

8/23 Lou & Ron's final show

lou&ron.jpgRon Santo interviews the fine manager of the Chicago Cubs one more time Sunday at Wrigley.


— Carrie Muskat

8/22 Saying goodbye

It was an emotional day Sunday at Wrigley Field as Lou Piniella bid farewell to the Cubs and to the game. After more than 3,500 games and 23 years as manager and nearly 1,800 games as a player, he is beginning his retirement early. Piniella heads home to Tampa, Fla., because family comes first over baseball. His 90-year-old mother is ill.

Said catcher Koyie Hill: “I think we all know that’s where he should be.”

Piniella’s career ended the same way the season started, with a 16-5 loss to the Braves. That was the Cubs’ Opening Day score as well, also a loss.

“Today’s game wasn’t pretty but I’d rather reflect on the good times I’ve had here,” Piniella said. “Lot of good times, lot of good people. It’s been a lot of fun. The pregame with Bobby Cox was special. He’s been a good friend for a long time. I appreciate my four years here with the Cubs organization. The city’s special, the people here are special. I’m appreciative.

“I cried a little bit after the game,” he said. “I get emotional — I’m sorry. I’m not trying to be. This will be the last time I put on a uniform. It’s been very special to me.”

He broke down for a few seconds, then collected himself. The players couldn’t help but shed a tear or two, too.

“That’s the human factor is the man deserves a lot better than that,” Hill said. “Same old story [in the game] — it’s not lack of effort or anything like that. It’s just the way it goes. I don’t know if you could’ve scripted it any worse.

“He’s given his life to the game,” Hill said. “We all appreciate that. We appreciate the opportunity we had to play for him and we’re going to miss him.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/22 Who's next as Cubs manager?

There has been speculation that Triple-A Iowa manager Ryne Sandberg is the front runner to take over for Lou Piniella next season. The Iowa Cubs are in first place in their division.

“I don’t have a front runner and haven’t had a front runner,” GM Jim Hendry said. “I’ve said from the day Lou announced his retirement [July 20] that I would take a long, extensive time to do what I thought was best for the organization in the future.

“It’s a very important decision,” Hendry said of the next Cubs manager, which will be his third hire, following Dusty Baker and Piniella. “There has never been a leading candidate and there isn’t one as I sit here today in the month of August.”

Hendry said Mike Quade, who will take over starting Monday, deserved the opportunity to manage the team for the remaining five weeks or so and will “be a strong candidate for the future.”

“To label anyone as the favorite would be absolutely foolish,” Hendry said.

— Carrie Muskat