Posted on: March 2, 2011 7:07 pm
PHOENIX -- Remember, Mike Quade wanted this job.
He waited forever for it. He managed 2,378 games over 17 minor-league seasons, just for this chance.
He wanted to manage a major-league team.
They gave him the Cubs.
They gave him a team that charged out of the gate with an incredible 14 errors in the first four spring training games. They gave him a group dysfunctional enough that there was a fight in the dugout four games into the spring.
Have fun, Q.
It wouldn't be fair to blame Quade for this Cubs mess, or to hold him responsible for Wednesday's altercation between pitcher Carlos Silva and third baseman Aramis Ramirez.
But he is responsible for getting it figured out. It's his job -- his challenge -- to somehow turn dysfunctional into functional.
"We've got to talk about this [Thursday], straighten it out," he said after Wednesday's five-error, 12-5 loss to the Brewers. "It's not in my nature to watch this."
He meant the errors, and what he said were another half-dozen or so mental mistakes that weren't counted as errors.
"Today was really tough to watch," he said.
I like Quade. I like the path he took to this job, but I also like the way he seems so comfortable in his own skin. I like the way he addressed what happened Wednesday, dealing with the issues without either trying to deny them or allowing them to grow into something even bigger.
But he's going to need every bit of his 17 years of managing experience -- and all his coaching experience -- to deal with this lot.
"It's an unfortunate deal," Quade said, referring to the fight. "It's not going to be a big deal. It'll be taken care of, if anything needs to be taken care of."
He said it's "ridiculous" to compare this to last year's dugout fight involving Carlos Zambrano. The implication was that while that was mostly a Zambrano issue, this was a somewhat more understandable release of frustrations.
Silva, Wednesday's starting pitcher, had just allowed six runs in his first inning of the spring. Some of it was his fault -- he walked Craig Counsell to start the inning, allowed a home run to Luis Cruz and later another home run to Casey McGehee -- but there were also three errors, one of them by Ramirez.
When Silva got to the dugout, he said something about the defense. Ramirez took offense.
It happens. It happens more to teams in trouble.
"These are things you don't like," Quade said. "You'd rather it be smooth. But I'd rather have that, almost, than complacency."
But you can't have this.
"I'm very surprised," left fielder Alfonso Soriano said. "It's only the fourth game of the spring, and we're fighting each other. We don't have to fight. We don't need that."
Quade certainly didn't need it.
"If we start getting after each other on a regular basis, we're going to be done," he said.
If the rest of this year goes the way the last four days have, one guy is certainly going to be done.
It's the guy who waited forever for this job.
And that would be too bad.
Posted on: June 21, 2010 12:44 am
Edited on: June 21, 2010 11:22 am
When Manny Ramirez went back to Boston, we at CBSSports.com went there with him.
This week, Garret Anderson goes back to Anaheim, Chris Carpenter goes back to Toronto and Carlos Silva goes back to Seattle.
Sorry, we can't be everywhere.
For all the problems with interleague play, it does provide us with homecomings and get-togethers that we might never see otherwise. Like Joe Torre and the Yankees, who will meet up this weekend at Dodger Stadium but will no doubt talk about it all week.
"Those kids, they made me famous," Torre said, while overseeing the Manny-in-Boston circus over the past weekend. "It'll be a little tough. I've never pulled against them before. I've always pulled for them, even when I was watching the World Series [last fall]."
The Torre vs. Yankees story would have been more compelling if the games were at Yankee Stadium, because the people Torre clashed with in his final days in New York (and most of the people he complained about in his book) likely won't be at Dodger Stadium.
But it will still be Joe Torre, and it will still be the Yankees, and it will still make us tolerate interleague play, at least for a few more days.
With that, here's the next-to-last interleague edition of 3 to watch:
1. Stephen Strasburg's fourth start isn't a coming-home story, but we promised to highlight every Strasburg start, and the way he's going, we're not going to stop now. Besides, Herb Score struck out 16 in his fourth career start, so Strasburg has something to shoot for, in Royals at Nationals, Wednesday (4:35 EDT) at Nationals Park . Already, he has two double-digit strikeout games in his first three starts. But according to research through the baseball-reference.com play index , there are two other guys who had two double-digit strikeout games in their first three starts (Karl Spooner and Daisuke Matsuzaka). There's no one that baseball reference shows as having three double-digit strikeout games in their first four starts.
2. Carpenter was 49-50 in his six years with the Blue Jays. He's 76-25 in his six-plus years with the Cardinals. So maybe the fans in Toronto, where he'll pitch in Cardinals at Blue Jays, Wednesday night (7:07 EDT) at Rogers Centre , don't remember him as fondly as they remember his good friend Roy Halladay. Halladay will also face the Jays this week, but the G20 summit that forced this weekend's series to be moved from Toronto to Philadelphia denied the Doc his homecoming.
3. At least the Toronto fans don't dislike Carpenter. Not sure you can say the same about the Mariner fans and Silva, who they'll see again, in Cubs at Mariners, Thursday afternoon (3:40 EDT) at Safeco Field . Silva went 5-18 in his two seasons with the M's, after signing a ridiculous four-year, $48 million contract. He's 8-2 in two-plus months with the Cubs, which would make the contract look a lot less ridiculous, even if he hadn't helped the Cubs dispose of Milton Bradley (who will also face his old mates this week).
Posted on: March 6, 2010 3:12 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2010 5:17 pm
MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs say that reliever Angel Guzman has a "very unstable shoulder" that is serious enough to leave his career in doubt.
"Obviously, this wasn't good news," general manager Jim Hendry said this morning, after announcing the results from the MRI exam that Guzman had on Friday.
Guzman has a significant tear in a ligament in his right shoulder, and there isn't good history of pitchers coming back from the type of surgery he would need. While the Cubs and Guzman haven't yet decided on a course of action, he could try to treat it for 4-6 weeks and hope that he's able to return without surgery.
In any case, the Cubs won't be able to count on Guzman, who they were hoping to have as one of their main set-up men in front of closer Carlos Marmol.
Hendry said that he has already been looking outside the organization for bullpen help, and that he'll continue to do so. Manager Lou Piniella said that the Cubs could rely on some of the pitchers currently competing for the fourth and fifth spots in the starting rotation.
Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster and Randy Wells occupy the first three spots in the rotation, and Ted Lilly will also be there once he is ready to pitch. But Lilly will miss the start of the season, so the Cubs need to choose two more starters from among Carlos Silva, Jeff Samardzija, Tom Gorzelanny and Sean Marshall.
The 28-year-old Guzman appeared in 55 games for the Cubs in 2009, with a 2.95 ERA and a .192 opponents batting average.
"At one point, this guy was as good a prospect as [Carlos Zambrano]," Hendry said.
More revelations from a day with the two Chicago teams:
-- Lou Piniella uses an iPhone. But don't get the idea that Piniella is suddenly becoming tech-savvy. Asked if he used any apps on the phone, he responded with a blank stare. "I'd rather talk to someone face to face than e-mail them," he said.
--Ozzie Guillen said that because he considers Piniella a friend and because he has such respect for Hendry, he doesn't root against the Cubs. "The only reason I don't want [the Cubs to go to the World Series] is the fans," he said.
-- Guillen said that when he wrote on his Twitter account that today was "a big game," he was referring to the other White Sox split-squad game, because Freddy Garcia is starting. But then he said, "I tied Mike Scioscia [on Thursday] and lost to Joe Torre [on Friday]. I hope I can beat Lou Piniella."
-- The Cubs continue to rave about what good shape Geovany Soto is in this spring. The Cubs are counting on bounce-back years from Soto, Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez. Soriano played left field today, and said: "It's great ot play this game with no pain. If I stay healthy, I'll have no problems putting up good numbers for me and the team. Just stay healthy. That's the key."
-- Silva doesn't look slim, and neither does his spring ERA after giving up six runs in two innings (including two long Carlos Quentin home runs) in his Cubs debut today. "I've been working on a lot of stuff, and there's still a lot of stuff to work on," he said.
-- Cubs coach Alan Trammell said he's been asked often about the comparison with 19-year-old Starlin Castro, the Cubs big shortstop prospect who came to camp with a longshot chance to make the team. Trammell had just turned 20 when he made the Tigers out of spring training in 1978, and Castro will be 20 by opening day. "The one thing against him is that we're the Chicago Cubs and we're expected to win," Trammell said. The '78 Tigers were coming off an 88-loss season.
Posted on: June 19, 2008 2:01 pm
Edited on: June 19, 2008 5:38 pm
First the general manager. Now the manager.
It's been quite a week in Seattle, hasn't it?
The Mariners aren't as big a soap opera as the Mets, but they might be an even bigger mess. One scout who just watched them play said the only way to get things turned around would be to trade Ichiro. Don't expect that to happen.
Already Bill Bavasi is the ex-GM, and John McLaren is the ex-manager (replaced today by Jim Riggleman). What's clear now is that almost anyone else wearing a Seattle uniform could be gone, too. Erik Bedard, Carlos Silva (if anyone will take his salary), maybe Miguel Batista, maybe even J.J. Putz (if he can prove that he's healthy). They can't trade Richie Sexson, but they could release him.
Interim GM Lee Pelekoudas explained today's firing of manager John McLaren by saying the M's "owe it to ourselves and our fans to do everything we can to win as many games as possible."
No they don't. They're 17 1/2 games out. They're not coming back. They need to tear apart this team so they can start all over.
Posted on: June 17, 2008 8:29 pm
Edited on: June 19, 2008 9:32 am
Another American League pitcher fell victim to National League rules today, when the Red Sox put Bartolo Colon on the disabled list with a back injury suffered while swinging and missing on Monday night. At least Colon isn't as important to the Sox as Chien-Ming Wang is to the Yankees. In fact, the Red Sox were simply able to put Daisuke Matsuzaka into Colon's spot in the rotation.
"I don't agree with the American League," he said. "I don't want to be in the American League. I don't want to face a No. 9 hitter making $8 million."
When Hamels beat the Red Sox Monday, he twice escaped trouble by striking out Colon with two on and two out.
It doesn't hurt that Hamels is a good hitter himself, with a .316 average this season (although he's a more pitcher-like .176 for his career).
A few other Tuesday thoughts:
Did you notice that the Tigers' Marcus Thames has homered in five straight games, with six home runs total in that span? Well, Red Sox first baseman Sean Casey noticed. "I think if you give that guy 500-some at-bats, he'd have a shot to hit 40," said Casey, Thames' ex-teammate with the Tigers. "He's in the top five as far as the longest balls hit by guys I've played with. I'm a big fan of his."
The Mariners have a lot of work to do in the next month, but scouts from opposing teams say they should be able to start the rebuilding process by trading away pitchers Carlos Silva and Erik Bedard. The pitching market should be interesting to watch in July, with quite a few teams looking but also quite a few decents arms available (C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Paul Byrd, among others).
While several other American League teams bemoan their lack of speed (White Sox, Indians, Tigers, to name three), the Red Sox are seeing the impact of AL steals leader Jacoby Ellsbury. "He's brought a brand of baseball that we're not accustomed to," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "We talk about preparing for the Angels, Tampa Bay and Minnesota, teams that run and put pressure on you. Now other teams are having to prepare that way for us. We've always been good, but we've been big and slow. We went through periods where we didn't hit, and we looked big and slow."