Wednesday, October 20, 2010

EXTRA: What happens first – Cubs win? Or fans learn to pronounce Quade’s name?

I’m not a Chicago Cubs fan, so I really don’t care who they pick to be their manager.

I can even comprehend the logic in not rushing into hiring as a field manager a guy primarily because he was a popular ballplayer for the Cubs some two decades ago.

BUT I HAVE to say it. I don’t get it, even though a full day has passed for me to analyze what happened.

Mike Quade, who was a member of Lou Piniella’s Cubs coaching staff, gets to take the “interim” off of his title. He gets a two-year contract with an option for a third year. It probably will be dirt-cheap, which strikes me as odd since this was the team that allegedly thought it could pick off the manager of the New York Yankees to come work for them.

The problem I have with this move is that it is the kind of thing that a team does if it honestly believes that all is well, and that only a mere break or two in their favor is what stands between them and a National League championship (last won in 1945).

Keeping Quade around essentially means that nothing significant is going to change with this ballclub. Which means Cubs fans ought to accept it now – the Cubs will NOT be in Heaven in 2011!

WHICH MEANS THE best bet for a World Series in Chicago next season is still on the South Side, where fan favorite manager Ozzie Guillen will make things entertaining while the Chicago White Sox tries to win their division for the fourth time in a 12-season time span.

I honestly believe that a Ryne Sandberg hiring could have brought the same type of juice to the Cubs (I’d argue the difference between the personalities of Guillen and Sandberg is a perfect depiction of the difference between the two organizations) that Guillen gives to the White Sox.

Considering his first-hand knowledge of the team’s minor league system, what talent exists, and what needs the team will have to look elsewhere to fill, could have made Sandberg the kind of guy who would provide a sense of franchisee continuity, while also giving the ball club on the field the swift kick in its baseball pants that it so desperately needs.

Instead, they’re keeping the status quo. Which is so Chicago Cubs-like.

FOR THOSE OF you who are about to snap at me that I’ll feel foolish if the Cubs actually win something under manager Qua-DEE, let me say that I fully expect there to be a better chance of Scott Lee Cohen taking the oath of office as governor than the Cubs winning the pennant next season.

Cohen will do better on 11/02 than the Cubs will do during 2011. And Sandberg likely will follow the lead of another one-time dyed-in-the-wool Cub, Mark Grace, who went to another ball club to become a real champion.

That is just a fact.


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