The Cubs' 2011 campaign continues to sink deeper and deeper into obscurity.
Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster gave up a laughable six earned runs in three innings of work, Carlos Pena made two embarrassing errors on one play and the team struck out a collective seven times, left 12 runners on base and lost 9-1 to the Phillies.
But what was the only thing Mike Quade seemed to be upset about after the game? Starlin Castro letting a pop fly fall for a hit because he was temporarily blinded by the sun.
"The sun's been in the same spot for however long Wrigley Field's been here," Quade said.
Which, apparently, is the reason why Castro should have caught a ball that he had absolutely no way of seeing. Yes, he had sunglasses on, but sunglasses aren't always effective. When the ball is right in the heart of the sun, which seemed to be the case with the Castro play, there isn't a player in the league that would be able to see it.
Quade also claimed that Castro and second baseman Darwin Barney should have communicated better on the play.
The problem here isn't Quade calling out Castro. It's the fact that he seemingly did so to avoid criticizing some of the veteran players on the roster. Dempster had a horrific outing, Pena had a rough day in the field, Fukudome went 0-for-4 in the leadoff spot, but Quade spoke not a word about these shortcomings to the Chicago media. Instead, he threw mild-mannered rookie Starlin Castro under the bus because he wasn't able to make one very difficult play.
Quade is a players' manager, and there's nothing wrong with that. Quade has stuck up for his players all season and that has earned him a degree of respect in the dugout. But respect means nothing if victories don't come along with it.
Quade will not be a successful manager at the major league level until he learns how to put his foot down and, more importantly, when to put his foot down.
Right now he doesn't understand how to do either.