- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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For Mike Quade the first four days of Cactus League play have been hard to watch.
After observing a blowup in the dugout that featured a brief skirmish between third baseman Aramis Ramirez and starter Carlos Silva on Wednesday, Quade also had to endure another day of error-filled ball on the field.
Quade will address the mess in a team meeting on Thursday morning.
After the shoving match between Ramirez and Silva, Quade made a Lou Piniella type comment to the entire team.
“It probably wasn’t worth printing,” Quade said. “Gosh, I’d have to think back. The message was to wake up and start playing baseball. After it was said, everybody in the dugout knew ‘hey, let’s go.’”
The five errors on Wednesday, including three in the first inning, bring the team’s total to 14 after four games.
That play is unacceptable to Quade, as it should be to the players.
“If we start getting after each other on a regular basis, then we are done,” Quade said. “Instead of try and pick each other up. Yeah, when things get as frustrating as [three errors in one inning] yeah, it’s one thing to pick up a guy after an error or two but that got crazy.”
Although most people are pointing to Silva as the incident’s instigator, Quade wasn’t choosing sides against Silva or in support of Ramirez.
“My sense was Silva was frustrated and made a general comment about the defense and [Ramirez] took issue of it,” Quade said. “Rami knew he had a bad inning and he knew Silva was upset. But he decided he didn’t need to hear that. It’s an unfortunate deal, but it’s not going to be a big deal.”
Quade and his staff certainly are concerned about the team’s lackluster defensive play.
The 2010 Cubs committed 126 errors, which ranked them near the bottom defensively in the National League. Ironically, Quade was on record coming into camp that his top priority was improving the Cubs’ defense. The Cubs manager singled out both Starlin Castro and Blake DeWitt as players who had to step it up this season.
After four games, DeWitt, Castro, Ramirez and Tyler Colvin lead the team with two errors each.
“We need to have a conversation tomorrow,” Quade said. “Not just about [the fight and the errors] but just getting ourselves back to playing baseball.”