I have nothing against Mike Quade (pronounced KWAH-dee). Nothing at all. But to hire him to be the manager of the Cubs over Ryne Sandberg is puzzling. Then again, they are the Cubs.
Yes the Cubs played better under Quade after Lou Piniella stepped down. But there was no pressure and guys knew they were playing for their jobs. He only managed 37 games, guiding the Cubs to a 24-13 record. That is a pretty small sampling to suddenly believe this is the guy who is going to lead the Cubs to their first World Series title since 1908.
Now that the Cubs have removed the interim tag on Quade by giving him a 2-year deal with an option for a third, the Cubs better be right on Quade. Because as long as Sandberg is managing the Cubs AAA team there will be talk of Sandberg as Cubs manager when/if Quade fails.
I thought Sandberg would be a no-brainer hire for the Cubs. Ryno, Hall of Fame player for the Cubs, has paid his managerial dues in the minor leagues. He would have instant have credibility in the clubhouse because he played the game and played it well.
Quade played 5 seasons in the minors, topping out at AA with 63 games played.
There have been plenty of managers who never played in the big leagues (Buck Showalter) or had weak Major League careers. Walter Alston, who struck out in his only big league at-bat comes to mind. That doesn't mean they can't manage. But I do think, especially in this day and age, that players respect a manager more if he played in the majors.
If I were the Cubs I would have hired Sandberg the day after the season ended. As it stands now, he'll probably get his shot at managing in the bigs with another team and that will be a shame.
Meanwhile, the Yankees have to be pleased. Joe Girardi, a free agent when the season ends, no longer has the option of going to the Cubs or using them as a bargaining chip. The Yankees just saved money. As if that's important to them.