Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lou understandably gives up...cue Mike Quade

Once it became apparent that Lou wasn't coming back this year, I felt he should go away. Then he officially announced he was retiring, and I felt he should just go away. Now he is just going away.

Before you go and dismiss everything here believing that I hate Lou Piniella, remember, as I've stated a few times, I believe that Lou Piniella has been the best Cubs manager in my lifetime. For me, it doesn't even come close.
(via: Tom Cruze, Chicago-Sun-Times)

The Cubs announced this morning that, because of continuing family concerns, that Lou was going to retire immediately.

This is good for him, it is good for the Cubs, and it is potentially good for a couple of the candidates who want to take over this God-forsaken job.

I'm going to miss Lou. If ownership would have wanted him to stay for next year and if his heart was still in it, I would have been all for him coming back next season. But I got the feeling that both of those conditions were just not going to happen.

So Jim Hendry made a couple of surprising comments during his press conference before the game. First, Alan Trammell was not going to take over as interim manager...and (much more surprisingly to me), he said that Trammell was NOT going to be considered for the position after the season is over.

Well, it goes to show what I know. I stated, almost immediately after Piniella announced he was retiring, that Trammell was probably the favorite to take over next season.

So much for that.

This speaks volumes about the front office's attitude going into the off-season, though. With Derrek Lee gone, it does indeed appear that the franchise is going to do a substantial purging of all the on-field personnel...players and coaches. If Trammell is not going to be manager next year, he isn't going to remain as coach...and he probably won't be the only other one to leave.

So, Mike Quade is going to take over as interim manager. He has been on the list of potential candidates for the job next season, and it makes a lot of sense to take advantage of the opportunity to give the guy a try-out. Earlier in the year, I wanted the Cubs to do the same with Ryne Sandberg. At this point of the season, that probably isn't the best thing, as the Iowa Cubs are in playoff contention right now.

What do we know about Mike Quade besides the fact he looks a lot like Lord Voldemort? Well, he has spent almost 8 seasons in the Cubs organization, managed the Iowa Cubs a for a couple of years and has served as third base coach during Piniella's 4 years as manager.

Many of you might forget that he was actually up for consideration for manager after the 2006 season. He has a long history of managing in the minor leagues, dating back to 1985.

He also wears Andre Dawson's that means he probably will go in the Hall-of-fame some day...right?

Quade is a Chicagoland native, which I didn't know until I looked up how old he was. He is 53 years old, so if the Cubs do hire him for the full time gig after the season we will have someone that isn't going to retire on us after a couple years (Joe Torre?)

Quade also really likes Kosuke Fukudome.
 "It's ok to be's my first time too."

So, with Trammell off the list of potential managers, this is who I see as the current candidates for manager in 2011:
  • Ryne Sandberg
  • Fredi Gonzalez
  • Mike Quade
  • Joe Girardi
  • Joe Torre (hell no!)
  • Pat Listach
  • Jody Davis
  • Bill Dancy
  • Buddy Bailey
  • Ted Simmons
  • Bobby Valentine (please, just shoot me!)
  • Ken Macha
  • Bud Black
  • Tony LaRussa
  • Greg Maddux (The Dick Cheney pick...I'll explain on some later date)
  • Bob Brenly
So, even though the play on the field has been, well, pathetic...the Cubs are giving us quite a bit to talk about.

But, today was Lou's day...a big salute to the first Cubs manager in my lifetime to truly leave on his own terms.  He's going to be a tough one to replace, and in 35 years of my life, the Cubs haven't been able to find anyone better.