Results tagged ‘ Mike Quade ’

8/20 Quade focused on what he can control

With Jim Hendry’s departure, the focus now shifts to the status of Cubs manager Mike Quade. Tuesday marks the one year mark since Quade took over the team.

“I just keep doing what I need to do here,” Quade said Saturday. “That’s all that really matters to me. What took place [Friday], you deal with that and whether it’s Jim or some of the adversity we’ve had this year, you move on. I don’t stop and say, ‘Oh my God, why this, why that?’ All I can control is today’s game and getting those guys ready to play and that’s it.”

Hendry was dismissed as the Cubs’ GM on Friday. He had spent 17 years with the organization, taking over the general manager duties in July 2002. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said the search for a successor would begin immediately and that the next GM would pick the manager. Quade did receive a two-year contract and is signed through 2012.

“How can you wonder what will happen when you don’t know who will be the new guy in town?” Quade said. “It’s such a cliche, but why worry about things you have no control over? What I can do is try to get this club to continue to play well.”

Quade was glad to hear Hendry say he was going to spend time with his two children.

“My concerns go to him and not his future,” Quade said. “He’ll be fine. It was great to hear him talk about spending time with his kids. I think that will be good for him.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/20 Hendry timeline with Cubs

During Jim Hendry’s tenure as GM with the Cubs, they won three division titles. Here are some highlights and lowlights:

* Named general manager in July 2002, taking over for Andy MacPhail. Inherited team with $75.7 million payroll. In offseason, hired Dusty Baker as manager from the NL champion Giants.

* In December 2002, traded Todd Hundley to the Dodgers for Mark Grudzielanek and Eric Karros. In July 2003, acquired Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton from Pirates for Jose Hernandez, Minor League player and Bobby Hill. Also added Randall Simon from Pirates. Cubs win first NL Central Division title, finishing 88-74, and beat Braves in NL Division Series. Cubs were five outs from getting to World Series but lost in NL Championship Series to Marlins.

* In November 2003, acquired Derrek Lee from Marlins for Hee-Seop Choi and Minor Leaguer. In January 2004, gave Kerry Wood three-year, $32.5 million contract. Signed Greg Maddux in Spring Training 2004. Acquired Nomar Garciaparra at Trade Deadline. Cubs finished 89-73, and lost bid for Wild Card spot in final weeks. Season ends with Sammy Sosa leaving Wrigley Field early during last game.

* In February 2005, traded Sosa to Orioles. Acquired Jeromy Burnitz (.258, 24 HR, 87 RBIs) to play right field. Neifi Perez plays more games at shortstop than injured Garciaparra, and Cubs finish fourth, 79-83.

* Injuries to Derrek Lee, Mark Prior and others result in 66-96 season. Baker and staff dismissed at end of season; pitching coach Larry Rothschild retained. Lou Piniella hired, and team spends $300 million on players, including eight-year, $136 million deal for Alfonso Soriano. Signed Ted Lilly to three-year deal while hooked up to EKG machine at 2006 Winter Meetings.

* Cubs win division in 2007 under Piniella with 85-77 record but are swept in NLDS by Diamondbacks. In August that year, Carlos Zambrano given five-year, $91.5 million extension.

* In December 2007, sign Japanese batting champ Kosuke Fukudome to four-year, $48 million contract. Add Reed Johnson and Jim Edmonds. Gave Aramis Ramirez five-year, $75 million contract. In 2008, Cubs win second straight Central Division at 97-64, but are swept by Dodgers in NLDS. In offseason, traded Mark DeRosa, acquired closer Kevin Gregg, signed Ryan Dempster to four-year, $52 million contract.

* In January 2009, signed free agent Milton Bradley to three-year, $30 million contract. He hits .257, 12 homers, 40 RBIs, then is suspended in September. Cubs tied for first on Aug. 5, but finish second at 83-78. Bradley traded to Mariners in offseason for Carlos Silva and cash.

* Signed free agent Marlon Byrd to three-year, $15 million deal in December 2009. Piniella announces in July 2010 he is retiring at season’s end. Mike Quade named manager on Aug. 23. Cubs go 24-13 under Quade and finish season in fifth, 75-87. Quade gets two-year contract.

* Signed Carlos Pena to one-year, $10 million deal in December 2010 and re-signs Kerry Wood for $1.5 million. In January 2011, acquired Matt Garza from Rays for top prospects in eight-player deal. Signed Carlos Marmol to three-year, $20 million contract in February. Placed Carlos Zambrano on disqualified list in August after pitcher walks out, announcing his retirement in Atlanta.

— Carrie Muskat

8/20 Quade’s status

With the dismissal of GM Jim Hendry, Cubs manager Mike Quade’s future now is being questioned. Hendry hired Quade and gave him a two-year contract through 2012. Asked about his future on Friday, Quade said he wasn’t thinking about himself.

“This is not a day for me,” Quade said. “It’s the furthest thing from my mind. You work for a guy, he’s a friend. This is a tough day for all of us. But I have no time to concern myself at all with me on a day like this.”

Tuesday will mark the one-year anniversary of when Quade was named Cubs manager, taking over for Lou Piniella in 2010. The team responded well, going 24-13 in the final six weeks.

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said the next GM will determine the manager.

“The GM makes the decision,” Ricketts said Friday. “They have to have the freedom to make decisions they are most confident will deliver the results. Obviously, if you don’t do that in any organization, there are no grounds for you to hold them accountable for the outcome.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/19 Players reaction to Hendry’s departure

Friday was a difficult day for some of the Cubs. GM Jim Hendry’s dismissal caught them off guard.

“He’s responsible for every single person in here,” Ryan Dempster said, looking around the clubhouse. “He’s a really good person and good man and he was let go because we didn’t do our job on the field.

“He’s been a big part of my life and gave me the opportunity to play for the Chicago Cubs and that’s something I’ll always be grateful for,” Dempster said. “It’s tough for us in the locker room, I’m sure it’s tough for the coaches. I’m glad we won today because I know he’d be happy for us.”

The Cubs rallied to beat the Cardinals 5-4 in 10 innings on Friday, just hours after meeting with Hendry in the clubhouse to get the news.

“It was a tough day and a tough thing to hear that sadness,” Dempster said. “He doesn’t have anything to be sad about because he did a great job in every aspect. Everyone was thankful to go out and play for him.”

The Cubs did improve to 12-5 in August with Friday’s win but they are 55-70 overall, and now searching for a new GM.

“Whatever his legacy is, in my time here with the Cubs, he’s as good a baseball man as I’ve been around,” Mike Quade said of Hendry, “and I’ve been around some pretty good ones.

“My friend won’t be my boss,” Quade said, “but he will always be my friend.”

Hendry, who took over the GM duties in July 2002, signed Alfonso Soriano to an eight-year deal in November 2006.

“He tried to do what’s best for the team,” Soriano said. “He’s very honest with the players. He does what’s best for the players and what’s best for the team, too.

“I was very surprised,” Soriano said of the news Friday. “I talked to him after practice today. I thought they wanted to make a move, but I didn’t think they’d make that kind of move. It’s very sad for Jim and for the players because we love him.”

It’s impossible to fire 25 players when the team isn’t performing well.

“We didn’t play the way we should play and a lot of veteran guys are making a lot of money and not performing like they should and someone had to pay the price,” Aramis Ramirez said. “The players are responsible. [The GM] doesn’t play. He signs guys and brings in guys and puts this guy in this position and gets the manager and the coaches.

“The bottom line is to get the job done between the lines,” he said, “and we didn’t.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/10 Santo’s passion

Everyone has their special memory of Ron Santo. Mike Quade got a chance to interact with the late third baseman and broadcaster daily, and that relationship developed when he got the manager’s job last August.

“What a character,” Quade said of Santo, who will be honored Wednesday with a statue outside Wrigley Field. “Growing up as a kid and all of us who have watched him and the way he went about his business and the blue collar type of approach he had, all of that is near and dear to my heart as well as everybody else’s. The fact you can come to this ballpark and take a look at he and Billy [Williams] and Ernie [Banks] and some of the great players here on a daily basis with a statue out there is something special.”

The Cubs tweaked their batting practice schedule so the players could attend the ceremony on the corner of Addison and Sheffield. Santo’s passion for the Cubs and the game inspired catcher Koyie Hill to create the “PASS10N” t-shirts.

“It was nuts — his passion,” Quade said. “I don’t think I’ve met anybody who had passion like Ronnie did and it was sincere as the day is long. To ride on a plane with him after a loss — you could’ve won 10 in a row and you lose a game and he’s devastated and it was real. I think for all the things you remember about him — and back in the day when you could be with a club for years and years and years, he and Ernie and Billy meant as much to the city as anybody baseball wise, at least in my lifetime.

“We miss him. This is going to be a real good day.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/7 Colvin, Campy & Byrd

Tyler Colvin may play first base sometime this season after all. Colvin has been taking grounders there and Mike Quade said he may insert him into the lineup there before the season ends. Colvin played first base in college but has been used primarily as an outfielder with the Cubs. He did workout at first in Spring Training. Right now, Jeff Baker is the primary backup at first for Carlos Pena.

* Tony Campana, who notched his first big league home run Friday with an inside the park dash, started in left field on Sunday to give Alfonso Soriano a breather.

“I’ll pick my spots for him,” Quade said of Campana, who was 2-for-3 against Arroyo earlier this season. Soriano is 8-for-42 with one home run off the Reds’ starter.

* The Cubs have been waiting for a hot streak like the one they had entering Sunday’s game. The seven-game steak heading into Sunday’s game was the longest since a seven-game stretch Aug. 23-29, 2008. Does the Cubs don’t need to make many roster changes next year?

“It’s way too early for me to concern myself [with that] — and I dodge that

all the time,” Quade said.

“There’s plenty of reason to be excited but you still want to put together more than a seven-game streak,” he said. “You want five or six months of good baseball. I couldn’t be happier with what I’m seeing now and how guys are playing.”

* The Cubs totaled 11 runs on Saturday against the Reds, pounding 13 hits, and delivered in the clutch, going 5-for-16. But Marlon Byrd had a tough day. He was 0-for-5 and ended four innings, stranding seven in the game. For the season, he’s batting .207 with runners in scoring position and .200 with RISP with two outs. He has 20 RBIs in 74 games.

“That’s something he’s working like heck to improve on,” Quade said. “He’s getting his hits. People picked him up [Saturday]. He got a couple huge RBIs in Pittsburgh in those same situations. It hasn’t been what he’d like but nobody is working harder to contribute in those situations. Yesterday was a tough day and it surprised me because he’s really had great at-bats against [Johnny] Cueto, but guys make adjustments.

“No one gets it done all the time and he’s working to get better.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/6 Campana back on bench

Tony Campana had about 60 text messages from friends after Friday’s game and had to finally turn his phone off at 2 a.m. because he was still getting congrats. The rookie outfielder hit his first home run Friday, and is the first Cubs player to hit an inside the park homer at Wrigley Field for his first in the Major Leagues.

“It was pretty outrageous,” Campana said of the response so far.

The only downer was that he wasn’t in the Cubs lineup Saturday. Friday’s game was Campana’s 18th start this season but manager Mike Quade inserted Marlon Byrd for the second game against the Reds.

“You may see Tony [Sunday],” Quade said. “We’ll take a look at giving a couple guys, or at least one guy a day off then. Tony’s playing off the bench now. … He had a great day but we’ll continue to use him off the bench.”

The Cubs weren’t counting on Campana to provide much offense. His speciality is speed, which he flashed as he sprinted around the bases in the first inning Friday.

“Campy’s working on his offensive game,” Quade said of the rookie, who had three hits Friday, missing the cycle by a triple. “You saw him as good as he can be yesterday. If he continues to do that, he won’t be a bench player for long. He’s been effective doing what we’ve asked him to do off the bench and obviously had a big day yesterday. He should feel good about it and be ready to help us late in the game.”

Campana, 25, didn’t sound too disappointed.

“You’re always hoping to be in the lineup,” he said. “I’ll probably get in there late and play defense and run and try to make things happen.”

Infielder Jeff Baker heard that and chimed in.

“He’s the manager, too, now,” Baker said. “Hey, ‘Q,’ Campy says he’s going to play defense, today.”

It’s all in good fun.

— Carrie Muskat

8/5 Extra bases – UPDATED

After pitching in four of the last five games, Carlos Marmol was expected to get Friday off. Maybe. Mike Quade said he would most likely lean toward lefty Sean Marshall as his closer on Friday instead of Marmol to give the right-hander a breather. Unless Marmol talks him out of it. Which he did, and he picked up his 24th save. In his last five games, Marmol has given up one hit over five innings and struck out seven.

“The funny thing is he still can be better,” Quade said of Marmol, who is 21-for-28 in save situations for the season. “The quality of the breaking ball is back but I’ve seen it even more devastating. He’s pounding the zone.”

* Friday was the first Cubs game at Wrigley Field since the ballpark hosted two Paul McCartney concerts, and the field was in fairly good shape. The right field corner looked beat up and there were marks leftover from the seating. Quade has dealt with having to share a facility in Oakland. The Athletics and Oakland Raiders both played at the coliseum.

“That field, for not being maybe a great stadium, the grounds were incredible and the groundskeeper there did a great job,” Quade said. “When the [NFL] preseason started, oh boy. The infield was fine but the outfield was a mess.

“You understand sometimes when the outfield gets beat up but if you wind up with offensive linemen on your infield, it’s not fun,” he said.

The Cubs played in St. Louis after Busch Stadium hosted a U2 concert and the outfield had been re-sodded.

* On Saturday, Wrigley Field will help celebrate the 100th birthday of Ronald Reagan. The Cubs will partner with the Dixon Park District and the Illinois Reagan Centennial Commission to honor the only president born in Illinois who was a Cubs announcer. Reagan actually was born Feb. 6, 1911. His oldest son, Michael Reagan, will attend the game and throw out a first pitch just as his father did in 1988.

* The Cubs announced updated start times for two games to be played at Wrigley Field. The Aug. 21 game against the Cardinals will start at 7:09 p.m. CT and be broadcast by ESPN. The Sept. 17 game against the Astros, which had been listed as “to be determined,” will now start at 12:05 p.m. CT and be televised by WGN TV.

* As of now, Rodrigo Lopez will stay in the Cubs’ rotation, Quade said. The right-hander was roughed up in his last start against the Pirates, lasting four innings.

* The Cubs wives will host their annual food drive on Saturday at Wrigley Field to benefit the Lakeview Pantry. Fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable items and will receive an autographed photo of a Cubs player in return.

* How important is pitching? The Cubs now have 14 quality starts in their last 21 games, and are 10-4 in those games.

“I don’t think it’s rocket science,” Quade said. “It starts with our pitching and our pitching has been better. I wish we would’ve put seven or eight on the board today but we didn’t but we still found a way [to win].”

— Carrie Muskat

8/4 Ejections

Cubs manager Mike Quade was ejected for the fifth time this season Wednesday night by home plate umpire Bob Davidson. Who holds the franchise mark for getting tossed the most in a single season? Not Leo Durocher. The record is seven, shared by Johnny Evers (1913) and Frankie Frisch (1950). Jim Lefebvre was the most recent Cubs manager to challenge for the title when he was tossed six times in 1993.

Thanks to Cubs historian Ed Hartig for doing the research.

— Carrie Muskat

7/30 You make the call

Did you miss the controversial slide by the Cardinals’ Matt Holliday that upended Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro in the fifth inning Saturday? Here’s the video.

The Cubs didn’t question Holliday’s aggressiveness but did contend he made an illegal slide because he couldn’t touch the base. The Cubs led 5-2 when the Cardinals had two runners on and one out in the fifth. Albert Pujols, who had homered earlier in the game, was intentionally walked to load the bases and starter Rodrigo Lopez then walked Holliday to force in a run.

Lopez was pulled, and Jeff Samardzija took over and got David Freese to hit a grounder to second baseman Darwin Barney, who threw to Castro for the force. Holliday slid hard into the shortstop, and upended him. Holliday didn’t appear to touch the bag.

Both Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena and third baseman Aramis Ramirez went to Cousins to argue, and Quade then came onto the field to join in the discussion, which ended with the Cubs manager getting ejected for the fourth time this season.

“I applaud somebody for going in hard and trying to break up a double play to end an inning,” Quade said. “My thing is, it’s not a legal slide to me and that’s it.”

When Pena and Ramirez challenged Cousins’ call, Quade knew something wasn’t right.

“They don’t do that unless they feel that it was blatant and was out of the realm of what’s legal and what’s not legal,” Quade said of the two veteran infielders. “The rule is there for a reason.”

Castro was lucky Holliday wasn’t wearing metal spikes. His left shin was cut and raw from Holliday coming in high on the shortstop.

“It’s OK, because he didn’t have cleats,” Castro said. “If he had cleats, he would’ve cut me because he slid hard and way out of the base. It’s not good. It’s baseball. He tried to break a double play.”

Two runs scored on the play as Castro was down on the dirt, trying to regroup.

“I assumed he was hurt and waited to see what was going on with that,” Quade said. “At that point, somehow [throwing the ball home] was not on my mind. The fact that it could’ve been a double play and we could’ve been out of the inning was on my mind.”

But they weren’t, and the Cardinals scored eight runs in the fifth en route to a 13-5 win.

Quade had said he would do his best to not get ejected in the second half.

“I was pretty upset,” he said. “It was a combination of the play itself and the importance of it at that time had me really upset.”

Said Castro: “He’s out. He didn’t have a chance to touch the base.”

Said Cardinals manager Tony La Russa: “I watched it on tape. He’s sliding into the bag. He’s in the vicinity of the base.”

Guess it depends on your point of view.

“I disagree with Derryl’s assessment that it was a clean play,” Quade said. “I think that’s why they have the rule in place. I don’t think there was an attempt at the bag. He got a pretty good piece of Castro as well. That’s a huge play, obviously, in the game, too, and would’ve gotten us out with a 5-3 lead. I disagree a bunch, obviously, and fortunately Starlin is OK.”

— Carrie Muskat