Quade will give in to the 'Moneyball' hype

492320.jpg

Quade will give in to the 'Moneyball' hype

Friday, Sept. 23, 2011Posted: 10:29 p.m. Updated: 11:08 p.m.
By Patrick Mooney
CSNChicago.com Cubs Insider Follow @CSNMooney Cubs 5, Cardinals 1: Box score Photo gallery
READ: Castro picks up 200th hit
WATCH: Frankie O talks to Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill in his review of 'Moneyball'
WATCH: Kap goes one-on-one with Jonah HillST. LOUIS -- Mike Quade has a business degree from the University of New Orleans.The television in his office almost always seems to be turned to thecable news channels. He follows the stock market and spends asignificant part of his day looking at numbers.

With that kind of background, the Cubs manager should be fascinated byan analytical movie that received four stars from Roger Ebert andshould generate serious Oscar buzz.

But as someone who worked seven years in the Oakland organization, Quade has already lived through Moneyball.

Im a rental guy wait until the DVD comes out, Quade said Friday asthe movie opened in theaters across the country. That way I dont haveto walk out of the theater if I dont care for it. I can just turn itoff and move on. But I am a little curious, just to see how itsdepicted, as far as what liberties were taken.

Quade did his job while best-selling author Michael Lewis shadowedBilly Beane during the 2002 season. The As found market inefficienciesand won 103 games, but Quade didnt return the next year as first-basecoach, in part because of a personality conflict and Beanes insistenceon putting Bob Geren on the staff.

While the behind-the-scenes book immediately became a hit upon itsrelease in 2003, Quade wound up managing in Des Moines. There MichaelGartner, an owner of the Cubs Triple-A Iowa affiliate, came into hisoffice.

From the minute the book came out, he plopped it on my desk, Quaderecalled. (He goes): I want you to read this and tell me whats trueand whats not true.

Quades counter-offer: You read the book and ask me. There will be allsorts (of) stuff that youll wonder about. Just come ask me and Illgive you my story.

Moneyball clearly hit a nerve among baseball fans and inside businessschools. Quade has only read excerpts of the book, which had a hugeimpact on the way the industry and journalists looked at and understoodthe game. The managers seen the trailers for the movie, and knows hewont be able to escape this time.

Curiosity will get the best of me, Quade said.

Shut down Ramirez?

Aramis Ramirez continues to receive treatment on his right quad, andthe hope is that hell be available to pinch-hit at some point thisweekend in St. Louis. The third baseman is already looking forward tohis next contract, but the Cubs arent ready to say his seasons overyet.

He hasnt indicated to me that hes interested in shutting it down,Quade said. Its a different thing in the middle of the season whenyour rosters locked in at 25 (and) you got to do something with thisspot. (Well) keep working on him and hope he gets better quickly.Patrick Mooney is CSNChicago.com's Cubs beat writer. Follow Patrick on Twitter @CSNMooney for up-to-the-minute Cubs news and views.

Theo Epstein tops Fortune's list of World's 50 Greatest Leaders

Theo Epstein tops Fortune's list of World's 50 Greatest Leaders

The Cubs keep raking in the accolades.

Theo Epstein is the latest to be honored, with Fortune naming the Cubs president of baseball operations No. 1 on the newly-released list of the World's 50 Greatest Leaders.

Epstein — the architect of the Cubs team that ended a 108-year championship drought — beat out such names as Pope Francis, John McCain, LeBron James and Joe Biden.

Fellow Chicagoan and White Sox ambassador Chance the Rapper also made the list at No. 46.

The rationale for Epstein includes:

In his book The Cubs Way, Sports Illustrated senior baseball writer Tom Verducci details the five-year rebuilding plan that led to the team’s victory. The Cubs owe their success to a concatenation of different leadership styles, from the affable patience of owner Tom Ricketts to the innovative eccentricity of manager Joe Maddon. But most important of all was the evolution of club president Theo Epstein, the wunderkind executive who realized he would need to grow as a leader in order to replicate in Chicago the success he’d had with the Boston Red Sox. In the following passages, Verducci describes how a deeper understanding of important human qualities among his players—the character, discipline, and chemistry that turn skilled athletes into leaders—­enabled Epstein to engineer one of the most remarkable turnarounds in sports.

For more on why Epstein and the Cubs topped the list, head to Fortune.com.

Epstein had a classic reaction to the honor with his official statement:

"Um, I can't even get my dog to stop peeing in the house. That is ridiculous. The whole thing is patently ridiculous. It's baseball - a pastime involving a lot of chance. If Zobrist's ball is three inches farther off the line, I'm on the hot seat for a failed five-year plan. And I'm not even the best leader in our organization; our players are."

Now what? Jon Lester driven to deliver more World Series titles to Chicago

Now what? Jon Lester driven to deliver more World Series titles to Chicago

MESA, Ariz. — Now what? Ryan Dempster believes these Cubs are young enough, hungry enough and talented enough to become the first group to win back-to-back World Series since the three-peat New York Yankees built a dynasty with titles in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000.

But Dempster already understands the expectations at Wrigley Field this season, especially after pitching on disappointing Cubs teams that got swept out of the playoffs and working as a special assistant in Theo Epstein's front office.

"Nothing can top it," Dempster said. "You can win 162 games and sweep everybody in the playoffs and it won't be as exciting for people, other than maybe the guys playing it."

That's why Jon Lester isn't putting up the "Mission Accomplished" banner at his locker, even though the Cubs had the parade down Michigan Avenue in mind when they gave him the biggest contract in franchise history at the time. Dempster — who also earned a World Series ring with the 2013 Boston Red Sox — had given Lester a scouting report as the Cubs went all-out in their pursuit of the big-game lefty.

There are still four years left on Lester's $155 million megadeal. It has been less than five months since the Cubs finally won the World Series and unleashed an epic celebration.

"Now the hard part is you don't get complacent," Lester said Wednesday after throwing six innings against an Oakland A's minor-league squad at the Sloan Park complex. "I talk about these young guys — that's where that helps. Even though you've accomplished things personally, you still want these guys to accomplish things.

"That's where that drive still gets you. You don't want to let your teammates down. You still want to be accountable for what you do. And that means showing up and doing your work in between starts and in the offseason."

[CUBS TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

Lester believed so much in Epstein's vision, the pipeline of talent about to burst and the lure of Chicago that he signed with a last-place team. The Cubs needed a symbol to show they were serious about winning, a clubhouse tone-setter and an anchor for their rotation.

A new comfort level in Year 2 of that contract helped explain how Lester performed as an All Star, a Cy Young Award finalist and the National League Championship Series co-MVP. But Lester wants to make sure that the Cubs don't get too comfortable — or feel like they're playing with house money.

"You enjoy that, you learn from it," Lester said. "The biggest thing is not getting complacent with yourself and with your teammates. That's what drives me, making sure I'm prepared to pitch.

"I'm called upon every five days, and I have to be there. That's where that goal of 30 starts and 200 innings comes into play. I feel like if I do that, then I've done my job, for my teammates and this organization.

"The championships and the World Series — that's stuff you can't predict. It's stuff you strive to do every single year. So that's all we're going to focus on again. Our team goal again is to win a World Series."