It should come as no surprise to anyone that 2011 Cubs Manager Mike Quade will not be returning to manage the Cubs next season. The announcement, from Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein via press release, comes a day after the Cubs introduced two new faces to the front office, Jed Hoyer, Executive Vice President/General Manager, and Jason McLeod Senior Vice President/Scouting and Player Development.
In yesterday’s press conference Epstein stated that he’d had a lengthy talk with Quade last week and would be talking to him again. Those who speculated that the first talk was probably to feel Quade out about the 2011 team and what happened during the season and that the second talk would be to let him go were correct.
In his statement Epstein said that he and Hoyer had met all day Thursday with Quade at Wrigley Field, and that he and Quade had continued to talk via telephone. “Today I flew to Florida to inform Mike in person that the Cubs have decided not to bring him back as our manager for the 2012 season,” he said.
Epstein added that he knew when he joined the Cubs Quade had a “reputation as an outstanding baseball guy, as a tireless worker and as a first-rate human being. “ After spending time with Quade, he realized that reputation was “well-deserved.” He also noted that Quade’s passion, knowledge of baseball, commitment and integrity stood out to him immediately.
“While Mike is clearly an asset to any organization and any major league staff, Jed and I believe that the Cubs would benefit long-term from bringing in a manager for 2012 who can come in with a clean slate and offer new direction,” Epstein continued.
The process to find a new manager has begun. So what type of manager are the Cubs looking for?
“We are looking for someone with whom and around whom we can build a foundation for sustained success,” Epstein said in the release. The next manager must have leadership and communication skills; he must place an emphasis on preparation and accountability; he must establish high standards and a winning culture; he must have integrity and an open mind; and he must have managerial or coaching experience at the major league level.”
Does this rule out fan favorite Ryne Sandberg? Perhaps. But it may not rule him out as a bench coach to the new manager, unless another team approaches him about a managerial job. Chances are we will find out sooner rather than later. The Cubs want to get all the players on board and get rolling.