Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Finally, Some News

Mike Quade is no longer the interim manager of the Cubs. He gets a two year deal, neatly matching the remaining time on Jim Hendry's contract.

What does this move tell us? A lot.

First, it tells us to expect massive payroll cuts over the next few years. Tom Ricketts stated clearly that they want to go with a guy that can handle younger players: Read cheap. If you are going cheap with players, might as well go cheap with management as well.

Second, it tells us that Jim Hendry hated Ryne Sandberg. Hendry has been under fire for a few years now. Hiring Sandberg would have at least gotten the meatballs off his back.

But, most importantly, it tells us that the Ricketts family is living up to the worst fears. Since taking over the Cubs, a team with bad contracts, a disgruntled fan base, a declining record, and failure spanning 2 millennia, they have made the following changes in management of their operations:


It's so bad a Wrigley that Lou Piniella gave back a million dollars to just go home 6 weeks early.

The hope with new ownership for fans everywhere was that the new people would change things. Now, the changes might be a crap shoot. They could work, or perhaps they would be disastrous. But we really thought there would be change. Significant change. Major change.

Change so far is the promotion of the third base coach.

Now, maybe the Ricketts are baseball smart and they already know that 2011 will be a rebuilding year and that the manager in Wrigley couldn't get the team to 82 wins even if he was Aqua Buddha. Given that, might as well go cheap and give Mike Quade a dream job for a year.

But if they are going young, they really need to do better than Jim Hendry. His track record since joining the Cubs in 1995 as Director of Player Development has been... what's the word? Awful, awful. He crashed a team that was playoff ready in 2003 and 2004 and fixed it by spending a few hundred million dollars. That option is no longer available. That has the added bonus of not allowing Hendry to go all Milton Bradley on us again.

The hire of Mike Quade tells us that, after three years of due diligence and oneyear of direct management, the Ricketts still haven't figured out where the problems are in their organization.

That's a massive disappointment.

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