Cubs done with Quade
Posted: Thursday, November 3, 2011 7:02 pm
By RICK GANO
AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO (AP) — Theo Epstein is looking for a new manager to lead the Chicago Cubs. He knows exactly the type of candidate he wants, too.
In his first major on-field move since becoming the team’s president of baseball operations, Epstein fired Cubs manager Mike Quade on Wednesday and began the search for his replacement. The move came one day after the club introduced new general manager Jed Hoyer and scouting/player development head Jason McLeod.
Epstein, who joined the Cubs a little more than a week ago, quickly laid out the qualifications he has in mind for the team’s next manager. One of those is managerial and/or coaching experience in the major leagues, which would eliminate a popular fan choice in Cubs Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg.
“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.
Epstein spoke with Sandberg on Wednesday and let him know that he wasn’t in the Cubs’ plans. Sandberg, who managed in Chicago’s minor league system and left the organization after Quade was chosen to replace Lou Piniella during the 2010 season, does not have major league managerial or coaching experience. Sandberg managed Philadelphia’s Triple-A team last season and could be a candidate in St. Louis.
Another potential candidate in Chicago could be Terry Francona, Epstein’s manager in Boston who did not return to the Red Sox after their epic September collapse. Another name that’s been mentioned is Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Dave Martinez, who once played for the Cubs.
Epstein fired Quade but made sure he did it in person by traveling to Florida. He called Quade an “outstanding baseball guy” but said it was time for a change.
Quade got the job after the Cubs went 24-13 during a 37-game interim audition at the end of the 2010 season. He had replaced Piniella — who retired — on an interim basis.
But the Cubs then stumbled through another disappointing year, finishing fifth in the NL Central with a 71-91 record that extended their infamous World Series championship drought to 103 years.
Epstein and Hoyer had a long meeting with Quade last week. Epstein had another lengthy conversation with him after a news conference Tuesday to introduce Hoyer and McLeod.
“While Mike is clearly an asset to any organization and any major league staff, Jed and I believe that the Cubs would benefit long-term from bringing in a manager for 2012 who can come in with a clean slate.”
Published in The Messenger 11.3.11