People have been saying it all season that Mike Quade is nothing more than a AAA manager. He leaves pitchers in too long, his line-ups are terrible, he uses Blake DeWitt in left field, he wasn’t using Tyler Colvin, he uses John Grabow period. The list of complaints goes on and on.
Well, if I may, I’d like to make an objective observation. And I’m going to because you’re not the boss of me.
If you disengage your ego from the win-loss record and the frustration of another disappointing season (may I remind you all that you called this to be a disappointing season in January) and take a good look at things, you’ll see that in a sense Mike Quade really is a AAA manager.
Think about it.
Due to all of the injuries and the constant roster changes, this big league team probably has a very AAA feel for Quade. He doesn’t know who he’s going to have come game time. Once he gets comfortable with the current roster, it changes again. Sometimes he doesn’t even have a chance to get comfortable with things before they change.
Now you could argue that a good manager could handle that sort of thing. And that’s true. Maybe a good, experienced big league manager could make it work. I suppose that there is some logic in holding a first full-year manager to the same standards. Somewhere.
I could be argue because he is so experienced with this sort of musical roster game in the minors that he should be better with this. And that’s true. Unfortunately for him, the other teams the Cubs are facing aren’t playing the same musical roster game. The playing field, as they say, is not level.
The complaints about the line-up seem to center around two main things: who is in the three hole and where is he batting Soto. Well, from what I’ve seen this season, it doesn’t really matter who bats in the three hole. Nobody has had much success there. As for Soto, he really hasn’t been batting well enough since coming back from the DL to warrant a move. And even before the DL stint, you have to be careful where you put him because he runs like a catcher, ie, he’s not speedy.
To be honest, the fans aren’t going to like any line-up Quade comes up with in regards to the 25 players sitting in his dugout right now. They were dead set on not liking it with the Opening Day 25; now it would be an imossible mission of Tom Cruise proportions.
Now I agree that Quade doesn’t exactly have the best timing when it comes to pulling a pitcher, which is funny because he was actually good at it last year. Remember when he pulled Demp late in a game even though he’d only thrown 75 pitches because his spot was up in the order and Quade wanted a try for offense? Remember when Demp could be in late in the game having only thrown 75 pitches? Yeah. I don’t like leaving the starters in too long, but I can see why he does it. Last year our bullpen was left exposed to a lack of offense. This year they’ve been beaten all to hell by less than stellar starting pitching. He’s trying to get that one more inning out of his starter in order to protect his bullpen and it’s just backfiring on him more often than not.
The point is that I can see where Quade’s coming from and why he’s struggling. His starting pitching is tanking, his offense only shows up randomly, his defense has issues, injuries have run rampant, and he’s doing his best to piece together some kind of team out of the remains and try to win a ballgame with that patchwork monster.
Of course, the fans are much better Frankensteins. They know exactly how to wrangle that beast.
Not the first full year I was hoping for you, Quade. I can only hope that as some point it gets better, that your team gets better, so you can try your hand at being a Major League manager.
I think you’d do all right if you got the chance.