The Major Leagues are celebrating their postseason right now. The Texas Rangers are surprising the New York Yankees 2-1 and are assured of returning to their home stadium. The Giants and Phillies are tied at 1-1. The four teams are battling for this year’s World Series appearances. Absent as usual are the Chicago Cubs. Cubs fans are used to being farsighted. We are not used to things happening “now.”
I just finished an article on Mike Quade being named the manager for the Cubs for next year and beyond. As is my want, I mused the choice not only in terms of the decision to hire Quade, but if it had any real significance for the Cubs’ future. If you care to read the thoughts of a guy who has wasted most of his 61 years rooting for the Cubs, read on.
Looking over the Cubs’ history I see great players like Ernie banks and Ryne Sandberg. I also remember great managers like Dusty Baker and Lou Piniella. All through the years, the Cubs would pin their hopes on a great player or some “great” single personality, and we did have some seasonal success, but typically in postseason we were eliminated right away. This has been blamed at times on a curse. And it is odd that when great Cubs players get in the postseason, they do seem to choke.
Now we have Mike Quade. Quade is a blue-collar guy. He has been on the road for years, first as a minor league coach and then as a Major League coach.
Near the end of this season, the Cubs were a sorry lot. It turned out Piniella’s thoughts were somewhere else. When Mike Quade took over, he had the daunting task of trying to get rookies and veterans to pull together and try to win some games. He created a winning percentage well over .600.
Does Quade’s presence bode well for the Cubs’ future?
I suggest it does. I think what it will take for the Cubs to finally win a World Series is for a bunch of young guys who could care less about a “curse” back at the beginning of the twentieth century to just play solid ball. Also, these guys need someone who is fearless and knows how to communicate with youngsters. Quade did it for 17 years.
For years and years, the Cubs have tried to win in conventional ways. Now let’s see what a group who doesn’t know they are supposed to lose can do.
MLB.Com Website, “2010 MLB Postseason Schedule”