Friday, Oct. 8, 2010
By Patrick Mooney
Mike Quade dismissed the idea when reporters suggested that this 37-game audition could raise his profile enough to at least become a manager somewhere else.
Where others saw the opportunities ahead an offseason in which roughly one-third of all teams could be looking for a manager Quade thought about his friends potentially losing their jobs. The speculation wasnt abstract. He knew those guys.
Sure enough, the Milwaukee Brewers decided not to exercise their 2011 option on Ken Macha, who remains close with Quade after working together on the Oakland As coaching staff. After essentially living on 30 one-year contracts throughout his career, Quade is used to the uncertainty.
Quade doesnt require a formal interview with Cubs general manager Jim Hendry. Quade wont have to show up in Hendrys office in a suit-and-tie with a resume in hand because the two had meaningful discussions throughout the final six weeks of the season.
Hendry has met with Quade, Eric Wedge, Bob Melvin and Ryne Sandberg. As of Friday afternoon, no candidate had been told that he was eliminated from consideration yet.
As part of his due diligence to find the Cubs manager for 2011, Hendry has spoken with seven or eight other men. Broadcaster Bob Brenly is rumored to be in the mix for the Milwaukee job, while the Atlanta Braves are expected to name Fredi Gonzalez their replacement for Bobby Cox once their postseason run ends.
The New York Yankees are still very much alive in the playoffs, and its unclear just how much mutual interest there would be between Joe Girardi and the Cubs, whether family concerns are strong enough to pull him home. Perhaps Girardis just looking to increase leverage while negotiating his next contract.
Hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, who is signed through 2012, expects to work for whoever manages the Cubs next season. Larry Rothschild has until Monday to pick up his option for 2011, which would be his 10th season as Cubs pitching coach.
Rothschild wont be locked into his contract if he doesnt connect with the new manager. Other staffers have been told that there could be opportunities to return, depending on whos sitting in the managers office.
That image should become clearer within the next week or two, when chairman Tom Ricketts is expected to meet with the short list of candidates.
Hendry would prefer to have the manager in place by the first week of November for the organizational meetings in Arizona, but isnt committed to any timeframe.
That man will lead what Forbes described as the least-efficient team in baseball with 75 wins 1.96 million per in 2010. Ricketts has indicated that payroll will probably decrease from approximately 145 million, but assured season-ticket holders that baseball operations will maintain the same budget levels overall next year.
My family is committed to winning a World Series and though it may not be entirely evident from this years performance, there are encouraging signs, Ricketts wrote in a letter released Friday, referencing the development of rookies Starlin Castro, Tyler Colvin and Andrew Cashner. It is my strong belief that, in the end, it is organizations with strong farm systems that win championships and I am convinced that (we are) making progress.
The rebuilding process will require someone with a strong teaching background and the ability to reach younger players.
Ricketts mentioned Quades 24-13 finish the superb job done by another one of our own. For now, its open to interpretation whether those were the words of a baseball lifers future boss or just a reference for another job outside the organization.