Tag:Mike Quade
Posted on: April 29, 2011 11:55 pm

Quade: Castro's not moving to second

Starlin Castro
By C. Trent Rosecrans

Starlin Castro has certainly had his defensive struggles early in his career -- he had three errors on Monday and seven on the season, along with 27 in 123 games last season -- but don't expect him to switch positions anytime soon.

Even with his defensive struggles, Cubs manager Mike Quade said he wouldn't be moving Castro to second and second baseman Darwin Barney to shortstop as long as he's the manager.

"First of all, Starlin is going to be a real good shortstop, and if I didn't believe that it might be worth a conversation," Quade told the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan. "As good as Barney is at second, I'm not sure how good a shortstop he would be on an everyday basis. And Barney would probably disagree with me on that.

"To me, both kids are benefitting from what's going on, where they're playing and everything else."

Quade was in the Athletics system when Miguel Tejada came up and some thought he should move to third.

"Sometimes those decisions [to switch positions] are made too quickly," Quade said. "I've seen too much of it to jump the gun on anything."

Castro certainly has the tools to be a good shortstop, but it's difficult to learn in the big leagues. The good thing is he has a bat that belongs in the big leagues, with he and Darwin Barney making up an impressive middle of the order, if not middle of the infield.

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Posted on: April 28, 2011 10:22 pm

Chicago's other manager won't be tweeting

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Mike QuadeMLB is looking at White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen for his tweets after he was ejected from Wednesday's game, but don't expect the other manager in Chicago to have that same problem.

"I will never get in trouble Twittering," Quade said before Thursdya's game against the Cubs (via MLB.com).

He was then told the term is "tweeting."

"See? I can't even say it," Quade, 54, said. "I will not get in trouble because I will never do it. I don't have the time, energy or the know-how."

He did note he does have a BlackBerry, so he does have the equipment.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: April 11, 2011 11:36 pm
Edited on: April 11, 2011 11:43 pm

Cubs survive despite ill-advised pitching plan

By Matt Snyder

The Cubs survived Monday night with a win, but did nearly everything they could after the fourth inning to give the game to the hapless Astros. They pounded the ball all over the yard for four innings while Ryan Dempster fought through early command issues and settled in. It was 5-0 and everything seemed to be in control. Things started to unravel soon thereafter due to a pitching gameplan that made little sense.

You see, the Cubs are going to use a reliever to start Tuesday's game. James Russell is slated to go about three innings, so the Cubs knew they were going to tax the bullpen Tuesday. So when Dempster was north of 100 pitches and losing control -- he walked two of the last three hitters he faced in the sixth -- manager Mike Quade tried to squeeze a seventh inning out of him. That was fine. He can handle the workload, it was the bottom of the order and they still had a four-run lead.

Then Bill Hall hit a home run.

OK, so let Dempster face Michael Bourn with a three-run lead. I guess I could see the case to let that happen. But then Bourn doubled and it actually could have easily been called a home run. If you made a list of the top 10 least powerful hitters in the league, Bourn would be on it. And Quade and his staff even had time to discuss things while the umpires used instant replay to see if the ball left the yard or not. It was ruled a double and a clearly gassed Dempster was left in the game.

Of course, Bourn scored pretty shortly thereafter as Angel Sanchez followed with a home run to cut the score to 5-4. Finally, mercifully, Dempster was removed after 115 pitches and nearly blowing a five-run lead in a matter of 1 1/3 innings.

About this time, the offense stopped hitting, too, as the Astros' bullpen allowed zero hits and two walks in the final four innings (it's stuff like this that makes me wonder how I've avoided a heart attack in my 25-plus years of being a Cubs fan).

But the bullpen did make the lead stand up, as Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol got some huge strikeouts to escape late Houston rallies.

Of course, now the Cubs have to worry about filling six innings of relief tomorrow, assuming Russell can make it through three. Sure, they were dealt a bad hand with injuries to both Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner, but you don't have to create adversity for yourself by using a relief pitcher as a starter like it's spring training.

There's been no official word Quade left Dempster in due to the plan for Tuesday, but let's be honest here: If Cashner or Wells was taking the mound Tuesday, there's no way Dempster is in the game that long.

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Posted on: April 11, 2011 10:29 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:54 am

Pepper: No change in the Cards at closer

Ryan FranklinBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Three out of four isn't bad. Well, unless you're a closer and you've blown three of four save chances.

The only thing worse than having a closer that can't close is the manager having zero confidence in anybody else in the bullpen. 

When St. Louis manager Tony La Russa was asked if he was considering changing his closer from Ryan Franklin, he answered, "who's better?"

"Somebody's got to come up with somebody that's better on our club right now," La Russa told MLB.com's Matthew Leach. "The fact is that right now those young guys aren't better."

The young guys are Mitchell Boggs and Jason Motte, both of whom are being groomed to take over for Franklin.

In fairness to Franklin, errors by Albert Pujols and Colby Rasmus with two outs in the ninth led to two victories by the Giants on Friday and Saturday, respectively. However, the way the Cardinals are constructed, defense will not be bailing out too many pitchers this season, and Pujols and Rasmus are two of the teams' better defenders.

Sunday the Cardinals found a way to avoid a closer breakdown -- by giving its pitchers a five-run lead to close out. They were successful, salvaging the series against the Giants with a 6-1 get-away day win in San Francisco.

RED-HOT Rangers -- Jeff Wilson of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram joins Lauren Shehadi to talk about the Rangers' great start.

CABRERA HELPING CABRERA -- The influence of veteran Orlando Cabrera has already started paying off for the Indians. During spring, Cabrera noticed Asdrubal Cabrera's approach in batting practice was that of a slugger, not a shortstop. He told him to try that in a game sometime. During the Indians' seven-game winning streak, Asdrubal Cabrera is hitting .316 with three homers and nine RBI. Asdrubal Cabrera had three homers all of last season. [MLB.com]

SIX-MAN ROTATION? -- The White Sox may look at a six-man rotation when Jake Peavy returns because of the performance of Phil Humber, at least on a short-term basis. [Chicago Tribune]

NICE MATCHUP -- For just the 21st time in history, two authors of perfect games will start against each other tonight, as Oakland's Dallas Braden faces Chicago's Mark Buehrle.

DUNN TAKE BP -- White Sox slugger Adam Dunn took batting practice before Sunday's game against the Rays and could return to the team's lineup as soon as today.

"It was good to get out of solitary confinement and hang out with the general population, you know what I mean," Dunn told the Chicago Tribune's Dave van Dyck.

However, Dunn said he was done making predictions about when he'd return when asked if he could play today against Oakland.

TINKERING -- Derek Jeter isn't the only Yankee messing with his mechanics -- right-hander Phil Hughes tinkered with his motion during his bullpen session on Sunday. Hughes is attempting to use more of the bottom half of his body in his delivery. [New York Times]

ROUSING THE TROOPS -- Rays manager Joe Maddon tried to eject all four umpires in Sunday's 6-1 loss to the White Sox. [St. Petersburg Times]

Enjoy this video while it lasts (why MLB.com won't allow embedded videos, I just don't know...)

LAROCHE CONFIDENT HE'LL BE BACK SOON -- Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche said he doesn't expect to miss any time after leaving Sunday's game with a strained left groin. LaRoche left in the 11th inning against the Mets, but said today's day off for the Nationals would give him ample healing time. [MASNSports.com]

ZIMMERMAN UNSURE OF RETURN -- Unlike his teammate LaRoche, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is unsure when he'll return from his strained abdominal muscle. Zimmerman will be re-evaluated on Tuesday following the off day. [Washington Post]

YOUNG UNHAPPY -- Mets right-hander Chris Young wasn't perfect on Sunday and  that wasn't good enough for him or the Mets. In his first seven-inning outing in nearly two years, Young allowed just one hit and two walks, and the walk came back to hurt him, accounting for the lone run he gave up to the Nationals. After he left the game, Washington tied the game in the eighth inning before winning it in the 11th. Young picked up a no-decision, but is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA in two starts for the Mets this season.  [ESPNNewYork.com]

BACK-TO-BACK -- Mark Prior pitched on back-to-back days for the Class A Tampa Yankees on Saturday and Sunday as he makes the transition from starter to reliever in an attempt to return to the majors for the first time since 2006. Prior's fastball reached 91 on both days. [MLB.com]

NO BIG DEAL -- Cubs pitching coach Mark Riggins downplayed conflicting statements from pitcher Matt Garza and manager Mike Quade following Garza's loss to the Brewers on Saturday. [Chicago Sun-Times]

NO REPLICAS FOR FANS -- The Giants will not make replica World Series rings available to fans, but you can by commemorative jewelry from the team. So, you know, if you've outgrown your class ring, you can get a ring that's symbolic of an achievement you had absolutely zero to do with earning yourself. But, you know, if you have $3,570 dollars just lying around with nothing else to really do with it, why not? It's not like there are charities that could use it more than you can use a 14K white gold ring with diamonds and your name on it that will repel women. Seriously, just buy one of the cool hats with the gold SF the team wore the other day. [San Francisco Chronicle]

NEW BOX -- The fine folks over at FanGraphs have unveiled their new boxscore. I swear there are some stats that aren't real in there just to see if you're paying attention. Seriously, there's just about everything you'd ever want in this box, and going through one could take longer than actually watching the game. And I mean that in the most awesome way possible. [FanGraphs.com]

OLD GLOVES -- A cool graphic on the evolution of the baseball glove, or at least Spalding's gloves (and a bonus Wilson one, even though I've always been a Rawlings guy). [UniWatchBlog]

NICE DAY AT THE PARK -- What's better than a beautiful Sunday at the ballpark? Try a day at the park followed by a post-game concert by the Avett Brothers. The band performed at Turner Field yesterday following the Phillies' 3-0 victory. My sisters-in-law and other friends went, plus one of my sisters-in-law met Kevin Gillespie in the beer line -- not a bad day.

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Posted on: April 6, 2011 11:42 am

Cubs putting pair of starters on DL

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Andrew CashnerOn Tuesday, Andrew Cashner made his major-league debut, allowing just three baserunners and a run through 5 1/3 innings. On Wednesday, he made his debut on the major-league disabled list with a strained rotator cuff.

Oh, and Cashner isn't the only one. Randy Wells is also headed to the DL with forearm strain.

Neither will throw for two weeks, Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said, but neither will need surgery (via CSNChicago.com's Patrick Mooney on Twitter).

Cashner and Wells pitched well the last two days. Cashner left with a 4-1 lead that the bullpen blew before a comeback victory against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday, while Wells picked up the win on Monday, allowing six hits and a run in six innings.

Cubs manager Mike Quade said he won't have either for the next three or four weeks, but did say, "This could be a lot worse."

It could, but it's not real good right now.

Casey Coleman will be called up from Triple-A Iowa to join the Cubs' rotation.

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Posted on: April 4, 2011 4:27 pm

Millar chides Piniella for communication issues

By Matt Snyder

Kevin Millar was in spring training with the Cubs in 2010, and he was evidently not impressed with then-manager Lou Piniella, citing a lack of communication with his players as one of the reasons the Cubs were not very good in the regular season. He said so on a Chicago radio show Monday.

"I didn’t get a chance to play with Lou but I mean, there definitely was something missing, OK. You have to have more organization and know who is going in the game that day. Listen, I played 12 years in the big leagues, and I sat there for 9 innings in a spring training game and didn’t know if I was playing or not playing. There’s just common courtesy to use an example personally."

Oh, there's more:

"Guys were talking about it and the whispers and that’s the stuff that brings down a club," he said. "I mean you want to talk baseball, you want to talk how you’re going to beat this guy today. You want to go out there and root each other on. You don’t want to worry about why this isn’t going on, what’s he doing here, what’s this going on and that’s the simple thing of a line up, get it up. (via Chicago Tribune )

Millar noted that new Cubs manager Mike Quade lets every player know in advance the role he'll have on the day of a game so they can prepare. When asked if Piniella was just "old school," Millar scoffed at the notion, asking how simply not posting a lineup earlier in the day could possibly be old school.

It did seem like Piniella wasn't totally into the 2010 season, whether it was his mother's health issues or becoming jaded after so many years of managing. That being said, there were far too many problems with the 2010 Cubs to pin a large amount on the manager not posting his lineups early enough in the day.

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Posted on: April 1, 2011 12:33 pm
Edited on: April 1, 2011 2:39 pm

Everyman Quade rides train to work unnoticed

By Matt Snyder

New Cubs manager Mike Quade might have a high-profile job, but he's content to ride the CTA Red Line -- aka the "El," as it's known in Chicago, short for being an elevated train -- to Wrigley Field for work. He even went without being recognized, though that may have been some of his own doing.

"It's kind of fun to get on the train and walk to the ballpark incognito, with a hat on and stuff, and feel the excitement," Quade said. (via Chicago Tribune ) "I managed to do it for the last two days. I'm pretty good. Hey, look, with a face like this, you could put makeup on, you could do all sorts of stuff. I can put wigs on, anything I want. I can throw a hat and jacket on and sit back in the back of the train and do what I do. Keep my head down."

Even if Quade wasn't trying to hide, the only thing that would likely help people notice him is his bald head. As a related aside, I've noticed some people across the 'net say Quade shaves his head. That isn't true. He was diagnosed with alopecia areata at age three and hasn't had hair for the majority of his life.

Anyway, Quade will eventually settle into his home two blocks from Wrigley, so he'll probably walk to the ballpark from there -- no word on if he'll do so in disguise or just as is. It probably depends upon how the team fares in his first season as skipper.

The Cubs open to lukewarm expectations Friday at home against the Pirates. It will be his first game as a full-time, major-league manager. He started his coaching career in 1985 in the minor leagues and progressively worked all the way up since then. Thus, it's no surprise he's perfectly content riding the train with everyone else. He is everyman.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: March 28, 2011 11:25 am
Edited on: March 28, 2011 11:40 am

Managers on the hot seat for 2011

By Evan Brunell

Managing a team is a tall task. Not only do managers have bosses to answer to, but they are responsible for overseeing a coaching staff, promoting good relationships with athletes who will earn far more than a skipper can dream of, winning games and knowing at the first whiff of trouble, the ax will fall not on the player or the GM, but the manager.

Even coaching legends Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa have multiple teams on their managerial resume, some stops which ended in being let go. Which managers are in similar danger this season?

GerenBob Geren, Athletics
Fifth season
Athletics record: 307-340
Contract: 2011 team option picked up after one-year extension

Geren is just sort of ... there. He doesn't make waves, which is good. He hasn't had any run-ins with players or made headlines, all good things. On the flip side, however, he gets next to no praise for his job done piloting the A's.

Sure, part of that has to do with his tepid success, as the team is 33 games under .500 with Geren at the helm, dropping from 93-69 in Ken Macha's final season of 2006 to 76-86 the next year. In 2010, Oakland split 162 games, marking the first time Geren did not have a losing record in Oakland. That's not the kind of stuff that gets you attention.

But there's another aspect to it, and that's the belief that Geren does what the front office wants. One would think this would be a good trait, as it's often smart to listen to your superiors. But when you're largely considered a placeholder with all the important decisions coming from above ... well, that's why there hasn't been much praise for Geren.

Geren is replaceable, even if he's functional. In a season with increased expectations after moves made that have some believing the A's could win the division, Geren will need to perform. If he doesn't, the front office will have to weigh whether the effect of letting Geren go could improve the team. There's a school of thought that sometimes replacing managers can be responsible for a bump in play. This is where Geren's perceived "yes-man" role could come back to hurt him as he wouldn't have other intangibles -- such as his skilled mastering of clubhouse dynamics or in-game management or player evaluation -- to fall back on to compel Oakland to retain him.

LeylandJim Leyland, Tigers
Sixth season
Tigers record: 424-387
Contract: Final year of two-year contract extension

Leyland burst on scene in 2006 after a six-year hiatus and took Detroit to the World Series before eventually falling to the Cardinals. He would win seven less games the following year, but repeated a second-place finish. 

However, Leyland's Tigers would drop all the way to fifth place in 2008 with a 74-88 mark before rebounding with 86 wins before last season's 81-81 finish. As Leyland has pronounced, it is time for him to show that he can put Detroit in the playoffs as his job is on the line.

Leyland doesn't really deserve blame for the Tigers' slide back into mediocrity these last few years as Detroit has battled injuries to key players along with undeserving players making far too much money when the club had to convince free agents to come to town following 2003's 119-loss debacle. But after an offseason in which the club imported Victor Martinez, Joaquin Benoit and Brad Penny, among others, the expectation in town is to contend for the division title and certainly finish over .500.

If that doesn't happen, Leyland could easily take matters into his own hands and simply walk away. But if the Tigers are flailing early on, management would likely not hesitate to make a move despite Leyland's stature in the game. 

QuadeMike Quade, Cubs
First full season (second overall)
Cubs record: 24-13
Contract: First year of two-year contract plus 2013 team option

Quade had a rough start to his managerial career, even if his record stands at a sterling 24-13. Quade had the luck of replacing Lou Piniella after Sweet Lou's sudden departure from Chicago. Quade then battled his way from being an unknown to beating out franchise icon Ryne Sandberg for the permanent job, causing Sandberg to leave town in a huff.

Quade's reward? Attempting to bring a World Series to the North Side for the first time in over 100 years and already having to manage a clubhouse fight between Carlos Silva and Aramis Ramirez. Good luck!

So why is Quade on the hot seat, especially since he has two guaranteed years on his deal? Because if the Cubs don't perform, the money allocated to Quade will be little enough to not be of concern. If Chicago is careening toward 100 losses, the public backlash will be too great for GM Jim Hendry to ignore.

On Quade's side is a relative luxury of uncertainty surrounding the team. The Cubs could feasibly land anywhere between 75-85 wins, and both 90 wins and losses can't be discounted either. Quade would have to really bomb to get cut, but what's worth monitoring is how the front office stands up to what could be an irate fan base should Chicago dip under .500.

RigglemanJim Riggleman, Nationals
Second full season (third overall)
Nationals record: 102-135
Contract: Final year of two-year contract with 2012 team option

Riggleman is a manager who is just sort of there. The Nationals didn't harbor any illusions that Washington would contend, so Riggleman has essentially received a free pass on the Nationals' record since taking over.

It certainly helps that Riggleman is thought to be among baseball's lowest-paid skippers. However, given the Nationals' increased expectations of winning, starting in 2011, Riggleman could be considered a lame-duck candidate -- especially given GM Mike Rizzo just received a contract extension through 2015. Given Rizzo picked Riggleman both to be interim manager and to remain as permanent skipper, it speaks volumes that the long-time manager does not have more job security.

A strong showing will certainly force Washington's hand in picking up the team option or negotiating an extension, but given nothing has happened to this date, it's clear that management is waiting to evaluate Riggleman's performance on the field.

The Nationals are unlikely to reach .500 this season, even as they talk game about making improvements to the team. A .500 record is a more realistic goal for 2012, but given the pronouncements and optimism of the front office, Riggleman could end up taking the heat if the team plays slightly worse, if not to, talent level.

RodriguezEdwin Rodriguez, Marlins
First full season (second overall)
Marlins record: 46-46
Contract: First and final year of contract

The Marlins wanted Ozzie Guillen, that's no secret.

Edwin Rodriguez ended up being the consolation prize to finish out the season after Fredi Gonzalez's dismissal. But even his 46-46 showing wasn't enough to land him the inside track on being Florida's permanent manager.

Florida certainly tried to find a new manager, but no one -- at least, no one they wanted -- was biting. So Rodriguez became a consolation prize and agreed to a one-year deal with Florida, which positions him for a quick exit should the Marlins fail to start the year with anything less than a .500 record. Owner Jeffrey Loria has always had idiotic expectations (as Joe Girardi and Gonzalez can attest to as well), and the positioning of the Fish as a "sleeper team" will only pressure Rodriguez more to get off to a fast start.

A trigger-happy owner with unrealistic expectations for his team, which searched far and wide before settling on bringing back Rodriguez, who agreed to a one-year deal -- which certainly has to have a low salary attached to it -- is a recipe for landing on the hot seat. In fact, of all the managers listed, Rodriguez is the best bet to be handed his walking papers.

Potential replacements

It's rare for a team to make an outside hire in midseason to pilot a team. Most teams opt to go with interim managers, filling from the bench or third-base coach spots (like Quade) until they can better evaluate at the end of the year. There are exceptions, as Buck Showalter can testify to. To that end, it's tough to predict with any certainty who would fill managerial spots in season. However, Bobby Valentine has been a hot name and given his repeated linking to the Marlins vacancy would have to be the prohibitive favorite to take over Florida should Rodriguez be handed his walking papers.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com