Chicago Cubs: Mike Quade

2011 in Review: Top 5 Cubs stories

December, 28, 2011
12/28/11
3:08
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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Theo Epstein, Ron Santo, Starlin CastroUS Presswire/AP PhotoThe Cubs found a new leader and a building block for the future, and Ron Santo finally got the Hall call in 2011.
1. Theo Epstein hired: In a franchise-altering decision, Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts decided to create a new position, president of baseball operations, in order to interview and hire Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein. Epstein, who had one year left on his Boston contract, was allowed to interview because the job being offered was above a GM description. Epstein was given a five-year deal that pays him $3.5 million a year, believed to be the highest annual average salary paid to any top baseball official. Epstein immediately hired Jed Hoyer as GM, doubling his salary to $1.2 million, according to industry sources.

2. Santo inducted into Hall: Almost one year to the day after his death, Ron Santo was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame with 94 percent of the vote from the veterans committee. The former third baseman and broadcaster had been passed over by the Baseball Writers' Association of America for 15 years and the veteran's committee another 10. He became the 47th player to wear a Cubs uniform enshrined into Cooperstown. Santo hit .277 with 342 home runs and 1,333 RBIs in a 15-year career. He called Cubs games as the radio analyst for 21 seasons until his death in 2010.

[+] EnlargeMike Quade
AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastMike Quade's Cubs finished in fifth place in his only full season as manager.
3. Cubs fire Hendry and Quade: After a second straight fifth-place finish, Hendry was fired on July 23 but was asked to stay on the job to complete the signing of the June draft choices and oversee trade deadline responsibilities. Hendry traded Kosuke Fukudome to the Cleveland Indians three days before the deadline. In nine seasons as Cubs GM, Hendry orchestrated three playoff teams and hired two celebrity managers in Dusty Baker and Lou Piniella, who both managed four seasons. In October 2010, Hendry removed the interim tag on Mike Quade and gave him a two-year contract. Epstein fired Quade in late October, and hired Dale Sveum. Under Hendry, the Cubs went to the playoffs in two straight seasons for the first time in 100 years only to go three and out in the 2007 and 2008 division series. Escalating salaries and abject failures in the signings of Fukudome and Milton Bradley eventually sealed Hendry's fate.

4. Castro's emergence: With 207 hits, Starlin Castro became the youngest player to not only lead the NL in hits but also the youngest player in Cubs history to make a NL All-Star team. Castro became only the fifth player in All-Star history to steal two bases in an All-Star Game. He led the league in at-bats (674) and also led NL shortstops in errors with 29, playing 158 out of 162 games. Castro also had five hitting streaks of 10 games or more. He came under fire for having his back turned to home plate as a pitch was thrown during a nationally-televised game in August. The mistake was noted by an ESPN producer and relayed to Bobby Valentine, becoming national news.

5. Zambrano quits the team: The always unpredictable pitcher walked out of the clubhouse and announced to team personnel that he was quitting baseball after an embarrassing performance in Atlanta on Aug. 12. Zambrano gave up a Cubs-record five home runs in 4 1/3 innings before being ejected for throwing inside on Chipper Jones twice in the same at-bat. After storming out of the clubhouse, Zambrano was put on the disqualified list and never pitched again for the Cubs in 2011. Epstein met with Zambrano and agent Barry Praver on Nov. 15 and told him if he worked hard in winter ball he would have a chance to re-build his career and his relationship with his teammates in 2012. Zambrano received 19 stitches after taking a line drive off his mouth in his third start in Venezuela in November.

Report: Quade in running for Triple-A job

November, 11, 2011
11/11/11
5:46
PM CT
By ESPNChicago.com
ESPNChicago.com
Former Cubs manager Mike Quade is in the running to be the Twins’ Triple-A manager, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

The newspaper reports that former Red Sox first base coach Ron Johnson, former Mets bench coach Ken Oberkfell, former Braves hitting coach Larry Parrish and former White Sox third base coach Jeff Cox are also in the running for the Rochester job.

The Twins are replacing Tom Nieto.

Quade has extensive experience in the minor leagues, having won over 1,000 games as a manager in a career that started in 1985.

The Cubs fired Quade after a 71-91 season.
Former Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade said Wednesday he doesn't believe his fate was sealed by the lack of a quality roster for the 2011 season.

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Quade goes out with class

November, 2, 2011
11/02/11
9:28
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
Archive


After another conversation with Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein on Tuesday, Mike Quade was hopeful his face-to-face meeting with Epstein in Tampa would have a happy ending.

“We had a really nice lunch at the Capitol Grill in Tampa,” Quade told ESPN Chicago on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, it didn’t quite end the way I was hoping it would.”

Quade was told by Epstein that the team was moving on without him as manager in 2012.

“Very disappointing,” Quade said. “But Theo and [GM] Jed [Hoyer] were first class all the way with me. I really enjoyed our conversations during our meetings. I truly wish them well.”

The promising managing career that began with a 24-13 finish in 2010, ended for Quade with a 71-91 record and fifth-place finish in 2011. His only full season with the Cubs featured more drama in the team's clubhouse than on the baseball field.

The 2011 season will be remembered for the Carlos Silva’s spring training fight, the hassle with Ryan Dempster in July and Zambrano’s August meltdown in Atlanta, all of which overshadowed anything that happened on the field last season.

[+] EnlargeQuade
Icon SMIMike Quade's only full season as an MLB manager was full of tumult.

“I know I can manage in the big leagues and win as a big league manager,” Quade said. “We got a taste of that winning in 2010, but everyone knows the game is about the players, and this year we weren’t deep enough as an organization to survive some of the injuries. I know we played better baseball the last couple of months of the season, but we all know that wasn’t good enough.”

Quade leaves Chicago with a 95-104 record and a lot of friendships that he believes will be lasting.

Truthfully, Quade was dealt an average hand with his 25-man roster in 2011, but he wasn’t really able to do much with it after losing a pair of starting pitchers in the season’s first week. To be blunt, Quade didn’t play the young players at his disposal as much as he should have. It appeared he tried to appease the veterans by giving bench players such as Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker at-bats, instead of some high-upside young talent. In Quade’s opinion some of those young players weren’t ready for the major leagues.

You might not have liked Quade as the Cubs’ manager, but his quality as a person and a baseball man cannot be questioned. He never ducked a hard question, and never once complained about having a bad team or player who couldn’t get it done. What the 53-year-old baseball lifer said about Epstein and Hoyer holds true about Quade as well. He’s first-class all the way.

Quade does leave Chicago with an generous parting gift: a million dollars for the 2012 season.

“I’d give back all that money for another shot at winning this year,” Quade said.

Epstein tells Sandberg he's not in plans

November, 2, 2011
11/02/11
2:22
PM CT
By ESPNChicago.com
ESPNChicago.com


Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein crossed Ryne Sandberg off the list of potential Cubs managers as soon as the search for Mike Quade's replacement began.

In his statement announcing that Quade wouldn't return next year, Epstein laid out criteria for the next manager. And one qualification excluded Sandberg, who was a Cubs Hall of Fame second baseman and highly successful manager in the minor leagues.

"The next manager must have leadership and communication skills; he must place an emphasis on preparation and accountability; he must establish high standards and a winning culture; he must have integrity and an open mind; and he must have managerial or coaching experience at the major league level," Epstein said in the release.

By all accounts, Sandberg possesses all of those qualities, except the last one.

ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney reported that Epstein reached out to Sandberg to tell him he's not in their plans.

Cubs fire Mike Quade

November, 2, 2011
11/02/11
1:47
PM CT
The Chicago Cubs fired manager Mike Quade on Wednesday, and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said the search for his successor begins immediately.

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Theo: Fate of Quade to be decided soon

November, 1, 2011
11/01/11
3:56
PM CT
By ESPNChicago.com
ESPNChicago.com
Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Tuesday he expects a quick decision on the future of manager Mike Quade.

Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer met Quade for a lengthy meeting in Chicago last week.

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Piniella sympathizes with Quade

October, 31, 2011
10/31/11
2:06
PM CT
By ESPNChicago.com
ESPNChicago.com
As Mike Quade awaits word on his fate as Chicago Cubs manager, his former boss sympathizes with his difficult position and hopes the new front office gives him a chance to return.

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Sources: Epstein, Hoyer meet with Quade

October, 31, 2011
10/31/11
10:09
AM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein met with manager Mike Quade in a lengthy meeting at the end of last week to discuss his status with the team, according to sources familiar with the situation.

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Epstein to meet Quade about future

October, 25, 2011
10/25/11
12:32
PM CT
By ESPNChicago.com
ESPNChicago.com
CHICAGO -- New Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Tuesday he plans to meet in person with manager Mike Quade, whose future appears uncertain after a disappointing 2011 season resulted in a front-office shakeup.

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5 things Theo and Co. must do right away

October, 21, 2011
10/21/11
9:57
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Now that Theo Epstein has been announced as president of baseball operations (and with Jed Hoyer expected to join him as GM), here's a list of five must-dos for the new Chicago Cubs brass coming out of the chute:

[+] EnlargeJed Hoyer
AP Photo/Lenny IgnelziJed Hoyer was assistant GM under Theo Epstein with the Red Sox.
1. Solidify front office: Epstein has been working on his group of underbosses for the past 10 days. With the help of chairman Tom Ricketts, he is in position to bring in Hoyer as his general manager. The Cubs might have to fancy up Hoyer's job title, which is Executive Vice President and General Manager with the Padres, for the job description. Padres assistant GM Jason McLeod will follow Hoyer to Chicago. Epstein is reportedly trying to bring Red Sox vice president of baseball operations Brian O'Halloran with him to Chicago. Epstein must make decisions on the current group of front office people he inherits. Interim GM Randy Bush and scouting director Tim Wilken each have one year remaining on their contracts. Vice president of player personnel Oneri Fleita was given a four-year extension at the end of the 2011 season. Others on the staff such as director of baseball operations Scott Nelson and manager of baseball information Chuck Wasserstrum have been with the Cubs for over 25 years. Paul Weaver directs international scouting for the team. This is a solid group that Epstein will have to decide how to use. But his main guys are firmly in place.

[+] EnlargeQuade
AP Photo/H. Rumph JrWill Mike Quade return for the final year of his contract?
2. Decide on manager/coaches: Mike Quade has a year remaining on his deal for $1 million. Theo and Co. if must decide if looking past Quade is the way to go. Rumors have had Terry Francona and Ryne Sandberg in the mix as possible replacements. Sandberg's name got out there because Epstein tried to hire him as his Triple-A manager before the 2011 season. A quick decision on Quade and his coaches would be the logical and fair thing to do for the group. Hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, bench coach Pat Listach and bullpen coach Lester Strode have one year remaining on their deals. Jaramillo, making $875,000, is the second-highest paid coach in baseball (Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan makes more than $1 million). Pitching coach Mark Riggins, first base coach Bob Dernier and third base coach Ivan DeJesus are unsigned for 2012.

[+] EnlargeCarlos Zambrano
AP Photo/Paul BeatyHeadache No. 1 for Theo Epstein: What to do with Carlos Zambrano?
3. Trade off the vets: Epstein and Co. must put their efforts toward trading troubled pitcher Carlos Zambrano and outfielder Alfonso Soriano. Zambrano should be easier to move than most think. He walked out on the team Aug. 12 and did not return in 2011. Although teams will be concerned with his fiery temperament and loss of focus, the 31-year-old Zambrano pitched without injury in 2011. Teams are always looking for starting pitching depth, and Zambrano at a discounted price from the $18 million the Cubs owe him will be attractive to teams after the winter meetings. Many sources say the Miami Marlins will come calling for Zambrano. Soriano closed out the season with 26 homers and 88 RBIs. The best spot Epstein can find for the 36-year-old Soriano will be with an American League team as a designated hitter. The Cubs will have to pay a large chunk of the $54 million still owed to Soriano over the next three seasons.

Ryan Dempster
Jeff Hanisch/US PresswireRyan Dempster has posted four straight seasons of 200-plus innings.
4. Address the starting pitching problem: Ace Matt Garza is under contract control for two more years. Epstein and Hoyer must talk to Ryan Dempster and his agent Craig Landis immediately to find out if Dempster is interested in picking up his $14 million player option. Although Dempster's record wasn't very pretty (10-14, 4.80), he can be an asset to Epstein. Dempster threw 200 innings-plus for the fourth straight season. Although he was 0-6 with three no-decisions in his last nine starts, seven of them were quality starts. The rest is up for grabs. Randy Wells, Andrew Cashner, Jeff Samardzija and Casey Coleman are some of the same choices the Cubs had in 2011. The Cubs will have to work hard on signing free agents and making trades. Top free agent C.J. Wilson will be asking for more than $100 million when he hits the market. Trades are going to be the only way they improve their starting pitching.

[+] EnlargeCarlos Pena
AP Photo/Al BehrmanCarlos Pena erased a lot of mistakes from the Cubs' infield defense this season.
5. Improve the worst defense in baseball: The Cubs made 134 errors in 2011, by far the most in baseball. Although the Cubs had good infielders, their defense must be improved. First baseman Carlos Pena saved 50 bad throws which he converted to outs, according to ESPN Stats & Info. That number led all of baseball in outs saved. Shortstop Starlin Castro has improved defensively, but his 29 errors led all shortstops. Fourteen errors by third baseman Aramis Ramirez and 12 by catcher Geovany Soto were also NL-highs in errors at those positions. Outfield defense was not much better. Centerfielder Marlon Byrd's hustle made up for a lot of plays he wouldn't normally make. Soriano's play in left field is well-documented. The Cubs were not much better in right field after Kosuke Fukudome was traded to the Cleveland Indians.

Theo and Co., roll up your sleeves and make the same magic happen as in Boston. If you can pull it off, Mayor Emanuel will be naming the streets after you.

Quade out of loop on pursuit of Epstein

October, 13, 2011
10/13/11
10:25
AM CT
By ESPNChicago.com
ESPNChicago.com

Owner Tom Ricketts said from the start that his search for a new general manager would be kept under wraps. As the Chicago Cubs come close to finalizing a deal for Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, that low-key approach apparently extended to the team's manager Mike Quade.

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Patience a key for Epstein's success

October, 12, 2011
10/12/11
5:43
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
Archive


The Chicago Cubs’ seemingly imminent hiring of former Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein should be met with approval by the vast majority of the fan base. After all, in Tom Ricketts’ pursuit of his front office chief of the future, he was looking for a man like Epstein.

Up until 10 days ago, the Ricketts family never imagined Epstein would be the man to fulfill the void created by the Jim Hendry’s late-season firing. From the very beginning, Epstein was at the top of the Cubs’ wish list, Major League sources said. Tampa’s Andrew Friedman, Oakland’s Billy Beane and New York’s Brian Cashman were perceived by the Cubs as the other front-line candidates. Those three never interviewed with the Cubs, sources indicated.

It took a perfect storm of circumstance to bring the Cubs and Epstein together.

Boston’s colossal collapse – the Red Sox squandered a nine-game September lead to lose the AL Wild Card – led to a mutual parting of the ways between the organization and manager Terry Francona. That September swoon, which caused the Red Sox to miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season, also put Epstein in a difficult situation. He had one year left on his contract and his power within the organization was eroding.

[+] EnlargeAlfonso Soriano
Jerry Lai/US PresswireWith contracts like Alfonso Soriano's limiting payroll flexibility, the Cubs might not make a big move in Theo Epstein's first season.

The first inkling that the Red Sox would part with Epstein was on Friday, Oct. 7, when owner John Henry stated on WEEI radio that regardless of how the situation worked out, “Theo is not going to be general manager forever.”

The best leverage the savvy exec had was 1,000 miles away, where a new ownership group was looking for a young, exciting baseball man capable of combing the worlds of sabermetrics and conventional scouting in his player evaluation.

Epstein will have a honeymoon period with ownership, fans and the media during his first year on the job. He’ll need it; the Cubs’ farm system – although improved and somewhat productive over the past three years – still has a ways to go in producing enough talent to allow the team to bypass the free-agent market for pitching and hitting help.

In spite of Epstein’s addition, the Cubs’ payroll likely will be in the neighborhood of $130 million – the same figure Jim Hendry had to work with in 2010. Epstein will inherit the locked-in contracts of Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster. The Cubs owe Soriano $54 million, Zambrano $18 million and Dempster $14 million – assuming he elects to pick up a player option for the 2011 season.

The biggest challenge for Epstein will be remaining patient. An initial trade or two should help invigorate a team that has finished in fifth place the past two seasons. The learning curve for Epstein in Chicago will include spending free agent money wisely. With a lesser budget than he had to work with the past few years, Epstein must avoid cumbersome contracts. His bad signings include Julio Lugo, JD Drew, Mike Cameron, Daisuke Matsuzaka, John Lackey and Carl Crawford. In fairness to Epstein, his commitment to the Red Sox’s farm system and his overall approach to scouting in Latin America and the Pacific Rim, have given the Red Sox a steady flow of good talent to augment his free agent signings and trades.

Among Epstein’s first moves will be to address the Cubs’ manager post. Incumbent Mike Quade and his coaching staff will have to be informed in a timely fashion what their future holds. Of the Cubs' staff, only Quade and hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo are under contract in 2012. At the end of the 2011 season, Quade told his staff they were free to seek out new employment after he was told by Ricketts that hiring a new GM would take upwards of a month.

Rumors have had former Red Sox manager Francona and Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg as possible candidates. Epstein tried to hire Sandberg as a Triple-A manager in Boston’s farm system prior to the 2011 season. A Major League Baseball source with knowledge of the Epstein interview process said that Sandberg’s name wasn’t mentioned when Epstein was asked about future managerial candidates if Quade was replaced.

It’s being presumed Epstein will have total baseball authority, which may have been a factor in his decision to take the job. In Boston, Epstein was engaged in a power struggle with team president Larry Lucchino. Keep in mind that Epstein was brought through the ranks in both San Diego and Boston by the aggressive and sometimes acerbic Lucchino. This move will allow Epstein to be his own man at the very top rung of the Cubs’ organization. With Luchino in place, that was unlikely to happen in Boston.


Quade confident he will return

September, 28, 2011
9/28/11
10:33
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
SAN DIEGO -- As his team continues its search for a new general manager, Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade is confident he will return in 2012.

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Quade confident he'll be back in 2012

September, 21, 2011
9/21/11
1:38
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade said Wednesday that he plans to be back next year, despite a disappointing season and the fact the Cubs are in the process of searching for a new general manager.

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SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Starlin Castro
BA HR RBI R
.292 14 65 58
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Rizzo 32
RBIA. Rizzo 78
RA. Rizzo 89
OPSA. Rizzo .913
WJ. Arrieta 10
ERAT. Wood 5.03
SOJ. Arrieta 167