CHICAGO -- The Mike Quade era as Chicago Cubs manager begins on Monday in Washington. The 53-year-old third-base coach replaces Lou Piniella as manager after Piniella announced on Sunday that he was retiring after the game against the Atlanta Braves.
"I think Mike deserves this opportunity," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. "Hopefully he will handle himself well and become a strong candidate for the future. But to label anyone as the favorite [for 2011 and beyond] right now would be absolutely foolish."
Hendry went on to explain why Quade was the choice to be interim manager.
"He's been a baseball guy his whole life," Hendry said. "He grew up here [the Chicago area] and was an oustanding player in college. Played a lot of minor league baseball. He's a career lifer, and he's paid his dues, coached and managed in the minor leagues a long time. We were thrilled to have him when he took over our Triple-A manager job (in 2003). He's always been a tremendously well-respected guy. He's upfront, honest, a hard worker. A guy that played the game the right way and a guy who does the right thing. He's always commanded a lot of respect from the players."
Quade, an Evanston native, was appreciative of the opportunity to manage his hometown team.
"It's something that I am excited about," Quade said. "I've managed a few games over the years, obviously not here."
Quade looks forward to showing what he can do as the dugout boss of the underachieving and ever-evolving Cubs.
"I don't know how many people know [that he is from Chicago]," Quade said. "I'm also curious if anyone is going ot pronounce my name right. But to be home and to do this just coming here to coach was something. Now to get this opportunity is great."
Quade said he is looking forward to working with the other coaches and trying to win during the final part of the season.
"I've been proud to be a part of [the coaching staff], and I will lean on them so heavily," Quade said.
First-base coach Ivan DeJesus will move to third base and take Quade's place. According to team sources, minor-league outfield and base-running instructor Bob Dernier, the former Cubs outfielder from the 1984 Eastern Division championship team, is the most likely choice to replace DeJesus as first base coach.
Quade won 1,213 games as a minor league manager in a career spanning from 1985 to 2006 before joining Piniella's coaching staff. He also coached with the Oakland Athletics as their first base coach from 2000-02 before joining the Cubs organization. He was drafted out of the University of New Orleans in 1979 by the Pittsburgh Pirates where he played five years in the minor leagues before beginning his minor-league managing career.