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Saturday, February 19, 2011
Quade kicks off spring with commitment

By Bruce Levine

Mike Quade
Cubs manager Mike Quade talks to his team Saturday in Mesa, Ariz. on the first day of full team workouts.
MESA, Ariz. -- After Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts gave his greetings and salutations to the full squad on Saturday at Spring Training, it was new Cubs manager Mike Quade’s turn to make his first speech to the team.

Quade’s message?

“You break it down to a few things,” Quade said. “The commitment that I make to them, as well as my staff, and the commitment I expect from them.”

Quade also ended his speech with a few comments to his team about dealing with the media.

“You guys are a monster,” he said, referring to the sheer numbers of reporters that cover the team. “I wanted to let them understand that.

“Depending on where you are coming from, it’s really tough. It’s the responsibility to the community and the outside-baseball stuff. Mr. Ricketts spoke about what’s expected of them as Cubs. Part of that responsibility is to look at you guys straight in the eye and deal with you on a daily basis.”

Almost all Quade’s veteran players experienced well-below-average batting marks in September last season. Quade was asked what he can do to change that this season, and he brushed aside one reporter’s query about whether baseball’s ban on amphetamines could have played a role.

“I don’t want to go down the amphetamine road,” Quade said. “Some of it has to do with a lot of day games we play. There is no pharmaceutical remedy. Let’s see if we can make some adjustments. It’s always a grind, and the last few months, to me, are pitching-dominated.”