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Quade keeps focus on getting wins

CHICAGO -- Twenty-four hours after his friend and boss, Jim Hendry, was dismissed as general manager, Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade said he has not taken time to think about his own future with the club, nor would he speculate.

“How can you wonder what’s going to happen when you don’t know who’s going to be the new guy in town?” Quade asked before Saturday’s game against the Cardinals. “It’s the age-old thing -- it’s such a cliché -- 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. That’s all I can do.”

The Cubs are 18-15 since the All-Star break, including a 9-4 record in one-run games and a 12-5 mark this month. Quade is in the first year of a two-year contract he signed last October after the Cubs closed the season with a 24-13 record.

Quade said he spoke to team chairman Tom Ricketts yesterday, as he has done on “numerous occasions.” Asked whether Hendry gave Quade any parting advice, the Cubs’ skipper said it was more the other way around.

“I just think and hope he’ll step back and take a week… to take a deep breath and spend that time he talked about at home,” Quade said. “My concerns go immediately to him. Not his future -- he’ll be fine -- but he takes some time and walks away. When you’re all-consumed, like he is, that’s his nature, it’s the toughest thing. But it was great to hear him talk about spending time with his kids and everyone else. I think it’ll be good for him.”

Tuesday, meanwhile, will be the one-year anniversary for Quade as Cubs manager. Given all that’s transpired over that year -- the injuries, the losing, the Carlos Zambrano situation and now Hendry’s firing -- Quade said it’s felt a bit longer than a year since he was promoted. He used the word ‘interesting’ several times in describing his first year on the job.

“Nobody said it was going to be a rose garden; Nobody said everything was going to go according to (plan),” he said. “It never does. It doesn’t for us. It doesn’t for the other team in that dugout, teams around the league. But it was a real good comeback yesterday. It made for a better night for me thinking about all that other stuff.”

Among the other topics Quade touched on during Saturday’s pre-game availability:

Quade said he has not spoken to Zambrano since he cleaned out his locker in Atlanta and told team officials he was retiring eight days ago.

The players’ union has since filed a grievance on behalf of Zambrano.

“I can’t speak for the guys down there,” Quade said of his players. “I just know I haven’t. There’s people involved where it doesn’t need to be me involved now. But I’m sure I’ll talk to him at some point. There’s so many things that are behind all that, as far as the legalities and unions and stuff. I’m just trying to figure out how to beat Mr. (Edwin) Jackson today and keep it simple here.”

Quade said he was surprised to hear that Friday’s announced crowd of 42,343 was the largest since the 1978 home opener.

“I always get a kick out of who is going to be the larger cheering section,” he said. “(Cardinals fans) travel well, as do we when we’re at their place.”