Hiring signals change
When the Cubs made this choice, the question one must ask is, what are the organization's short- and long-term needs and how are they served?
Mike Quade is an outstanding baseball man, an organization man, a longtime minor league manager who has made a reputation of helping to develop young talent. If that's the kind of team the Cubs intend to have, he is the right man for the job.
Ryne Sandberg would have been the perfect choice if selling tickets were a priority, but the novelty of having a hometown hero in the dugout fades quickly if he doesn't produce.
So the hiring of Quade to a two-year contract is more about what it signals. The Cubs evidently are more focused on player development over the next two years and hired a manager experienced in that area. If Quade is successful, he will become a big name quickly enough.
Sandberg fits profile
Los Angeles Times
Mike Quade certainly earned the opportunity, guiding the Cubs to a 24-13 record as an interim manager after Lou Piniella stepped down. And maybe his career arc will mirror that of Mike Scioscia, another not-so-big name with little managerial experience who was considered a bit of a reach when the Angels hired him before the 2000 season. All Scioscia did was lead the Angels to the 2002 World Series championship, and he now is considered one of the best managers in the game.
But the Cubs are a very high-profile team, and I think a high-profile hire was called for, so I would have gone with Ryne Sandberg, who would have had instant credibility with the players and fans despite his lack of managerial experience.
Decision an easy one
There's no doubt Mike Quade is a solid baseball man who did a very good job as interim manager after replacing Lou Piniella, so it's hard to argue against giving him a chance to build on his impressive 24-13 season-ending record. But the Cubs committed one of the cardinal sins of front-office management. They let the decision make itself.
Quade might not have gotten the job if the Cubs had started the search from scratch at the end of the season, but he took advantage of his interim audition and won the role over popular Cubs Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg. That probably came as a surprise to a lot of fans on the North Side, but it would have been impractical — and politically perilous — to change managers again after the players responded so well over the final six weeks of a lost season.
Was Quade the best choice? In a sense, he was the only choice.
Quade more deserving
Juan C. Rodriguez
Give Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg credit for burying whatever sense of entitlement he felt and working his way up the minor league managerial ranks. He's earned an opportunity, but it shouldn't be with the Cubs in 2011. Mike Quade has been dishing out dues considerably longer. He managed in the minor leagues 17 years before joining the Cubs' major league staff in 2007.
While 37 games as interim manager is a small sample size, Quade's Cubs went a combined 9-7 against playoff contenders Cincinnati, St. Louis, San Francisco and San Diego. Against teams with nothing to play for, they were 15-6.
With no carrot to dangle before them, Quade kept his veteran players interested and ready to play, and for that he deserved the job.