Chicago Cubs: When Theo Epstein Comes, Mike Quade Has to Go
As we patiently wait for the Theo Epstein hostage watch to play out while Boston figures out what they can extort from the Cubs, there has been some alarming thoughts on current lame-duck manager Mike Quade.
Some baseball "experts" are saying he might stay and finish out his contract next year. They are even making arguments for him staying, and giving reasons why it makes sense.
The thought is since he's under contract, and Theo will have a lot of things to work on when he gets in, it might just be better to let him finish out his contract and bring in a new manager in 2013.
One of the arguments is there could be a better selection of managerial candidates at that time, or maybe Terry Francona can come in after taking a year off after the negative press that came out about him dies down.
There is also the thought that the Cubs won't be ready to contend next year anyway, so why make a change.
That is completely the wrong type of thinking and hopefully Theo is smarter than that. In fact, if he thinks it does make sense for Quade to stay, then he is the wrong choice for the job.
You have to change the culture immediately. Keeping Quade means the country club atmosphere continues.
There is also a lack of respect for him that is troubling for the young players on the team like Starlin Castro. The way he doesn't hold the veterans accountable is an example that you don't want him to continue to see and possibly adapt himself.
Last year, Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, and Carlos Zambrano showed the lack of respect they have for Quade, with Zambrano being quoted, "What manager" when he was asked a question.
Keeping Quade also means the Cubs continue to be a fundamentally inept team.
What sense does it make to bring in a new GM and keep the same, tired old manager who showed he was in way over his head?
It doesn't matter if the Cubs aren't good in 2012.
The Theo Epstein era has to start with someone to tell the players what the team expects of them, and how they want them to play the game. Kirk GIbson did that in Arizona and he led them to the playoffs this year.
Bringing in a new guy and clearing out a bad coaching staff is the only way to start this new regime.
Otherwise, you waste the excitement of the Epstein hiring, whenever it happens.
All of the positive buzz about the Cubs landing the big fish will be drowned out by keeping the minnow Quade around.
Replacing him with Ryne Sandberg would make Epstein look even better in the eyes of Cub fans than he already does.
It's time to correct the mistake made last year. Let Quade go and give Ryno the job.
Fans will be partying in the streets of Wrigleyville with the news, and hopefully in short order, there will be another kind of celebration.
I don't want to jinx it, but I think you know what I'm talking about.
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