People are mad.
Some are mad that Ryne Sandberg didn't get hired. Some people are mad that Joe Girardi got hired. Some people are mad that neither Ryne Sandberg nor Joe Girardi got hired. One person I saw was mad that Bob Brenly wasn't hired.
I said they were mad, not rational or logical.
When it is all said and done, this is a lot of angst over a decision that probably doesn't matter that much. Unless Ryne Sandberg had figured out a way to start the 1984 version of himself at second base, the overall results on the field by a Quade-led team probably won't be much different than a Sandberg-led team. But since there is no way to prove that, let's just throw out that reason to calm down.
How about that there was no decision that Hendry could make that didn't screw someone?
By hiring Quade, he screwed Sandberg a bit. Sure, nothing was ever promised to Sandberg, but when Hendry hired Lou, he basically told Sandberg he wasn't a serious candidate because he didn't have enough minor league managing experience. So he went and managed in the minors for another three years and did pretty well at each stop. He even won Manager of the Year this past year. So, he did everything the club asked of him and he still got passed over. Admit it, that would not feel good if that happened to you in your job.
But if he had hired Sandberg, Hendry would have ignored the job Quade did when given the controls of this team when they were in a nose dive that I thought would hit 100 losses easily. Giving weight to 37 games at the end of the season (mostly with expanded rosters) may not be a prudent thing to do in evaluating managerial candidates, but the Cubs did that when they gave Quade the interim position and talked about how he was a serious candidate for the full time job. It doesn't matter that this would be like choosing which cardiologist should do your heart surgery by comparing their SAT scores. The Cubs made it a valid criteria in their job search by announcing that it was valid. How could they then decide to ignore that criteria without Quade feeling screwed? They couldn't.
If they had hired Joe Girardi, people would be too busy noticing the Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse riding through the air to realize that such a hire would basically be screwing both Quade and Sandberg.
So I'm not too worked up over it, but here are the positive aspects of going with Quade:
- He and Hendry's contracts now both end at the same time, so if they want to make a change after 2012, a new GM will then hire a new manager to start fresh all around.
- Quade's deal can't be that expensive, so if the 2011 season ends up being the 100 loss season I think it can be, then both Hendry and Quade can be fired a year early without having to eat too much in salary.
- The players supported Quade, which probably would have had an impact on how they accepted Ryne in the position to start out. Again, maybe not a valid criteria for hiring a manager, but I'd rather the Cubs listen to players who have to play for the manager than fans who just watch on TV.
- Nothing about this hire means the Cubs can't still hire Sandberg in the future. He may get hired somewhere else and maybe even be hired as a major league manager, but he probably isn't getting more than two years from anyone, and none of the openings are with teams that are likely to turn around so quickly that he'll get automatically extended. In all likelihood, Sandberg will be available in 2013 when Quade and Hendry's contracts are up.
- This was obviously not a PR move on the part of the Cubs intended to sell tickets. Whether the choice was right or wrong (or whether their methods were flawed), the Cubs tried to make the right baseball decision and risked pissing off a significant portion of their fan base. The Cubs have made too many moves where marketing and PR have been too big a factor in the decision process so this is a refreshing change.
|I expect to see Quade in this pose quite a bit in 2011.|
I'm sure Quade will do a decent enough job with the talent he has. His big problem now is that people will expect him to continue working miracles with a roster that features ever-aging stars, a shallow bullpen, crappy defensive skills, and not much power. For some reason, Cubs fans still think this is a good team. It isn't, and expecting Quade to make it a good team is unfair to him.
Sandberg will find a job doing something and I'm sure it will almost assuredly be with a better team than the Cubs. It may turn out that the Cubs simply followed the adage, "If you love something, set it free."