The Cubs didn’t fire Mike Quade today. They actually did it last Friday, and decided to wait until the day after the Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod bro-hug, press conference to announce it. I’d love to tell you I told you so and that I knew Quade was going to flame out, but the simple fact is that I can’t.
Because I honestly thought this would work.
Oh, I didn’t think the Cubs were going to be any good last year, but I didn’t think it would be because they were incompetently managed.
Fact is they weren’t any good, and they were only semi-incompetently managed.
It should have worked. Quade is, despite his hairless appearance, a normal guy. He’s also a good baseball guy, knows his stuff and had paid his dues for years and years and years. But when given the job, he refused to challenge his lazy veterans and treated his young players inconsistently. The fact that he spoke only in nicknames was just strange.
He deserved to be let go in the regime change because he didn’t do anything to prove that he shouldn’t be let go. I championed Quade’s hiring. I spent $9 bucks on Go Daddy and changed the name of this site to Hire Mike Quade for like two weeks last year. I was disappointed that he didn’t do…much of anything with his one (and only) chance.
Now he’s just another footnote in Cubs history. Every Cubs manager ends up in a heap. The smallest heap is reserved for the ones who actually won something: Frank Chance, Joe McCarthy and Charlie Grimm. A few ended up in the competent but tragically disappointing pile: Leo Durocher, Lou Piniella, Dusty Baker (not sure about the competent part) and Jim Frey.
Most end up in the forgettable heap: Quade joins such luminaries as Hank O’Day, Frankie Frisch, Whitey Lockman, Preston Gomez, Joey Amalfitano, Bruce Kimm and yes, even Jim Essian. For me, he’ll always be the ’00s version of Tom Trebelhorn.
Wow, there’s great company.
The big news (for some dopes) is that Theo Epstein announced the criteria for a new manager include experience as a big league coach or manager. That rules out the choice of the bead wearing throng, Ryne Sandberg.
The next manager will likely come from a group that includes:
Rays bench coach Dave Martinez: The former Cubs outfielder was traded to the Expos for Mitch Webster amid rumors that he was (how do I write this delicately?) fucking Sandberg’s first wife, Cindy. Muahahahahahaha!
Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin: The Chicago native has been an interim manager twice, one for Pissburgh and then in 2007, for the Reds. He did an excellent job for the Reds and had they just kept him, instead of letting him go to hire Dusty, their pitching staff might not be lying in shreds.
Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux: He’s an excellent pitching coach, and the thought that pitching coaches make lousy managers is just dumb. He might even convince Greggie to sit in the dugout with him in some capacity.
Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona: He seems destined to take a season off, but Theo does not appear averse to hiring his former Sox manager.
Brewers bench coach Dave Sveum: The Peter Stormare (the guy who put Steve Buschemi in the wood chipper in “Fargo”) lookalike is dumb as a box of hair.
And…thanks to a tweet from my good friend Jon Greenberg of ESPN Chicago, my personal front runner:
San Francisco Giants special assistant Shawon Dunston: Oh, I wish this were true. Not only was Shawon my favorite Cub as a kid, but unlike Sandberg, he’s coached in the big leagues, he’s smart, and he’s just as funny as Ozzie Guillen but slightly less profane. This has zero chance of happening, but it’d be awesome if it did.
So who’s it going to be? My guess is Dave Martinez. And that likely will be a very good hire.
But I’m wrong occasionally.
That is, if occasionally means “always.”