Mike Quade is now the new Cubs’ Manager, but that’s not why diehard Cub fans are angry. While Q may be deserving, many fans are bitterly disappointed and some are downright outraged by the lack of loyalty and disdain demonstrated by the Cubs toward Ryne Sandberg and Joe Girardi.
After replacing Lou Piniella in August, Mike Quade made a case for himself to be the next Cubs’ Manager as the Cubs finished the season strong. The Cubs went 24-13 under Quade, who made an immediate impression as he proved that he can manage. A new attitude was adopted by the Cub players and Quade influenced the team to get better, and they did. Rather than playing out the season, the Cubs stormed back and compiled the best record in the National League, next to the Philadelphia Phillies, during the last 37 games of the season. The Cubs’ Pitching Staff was vastly improved, Carlos Zambrano was unstoppable, and the bullpen was lights out. The new look Cubs looked like a different team under Mike Quade, who deserves alot of credit for the turnaround. Q made a statement, and seemingly out of nowhere, emerged as the leading candidate for the Cubs’ managerial position.
But that’s not why Cub fans are angry.
As the interview process dragged on, many diehard Cub fans waited eagerly as the drama began to unfold. The Cubs interviewed Freddi Gonzalez, who withdrew his name as the Atlanta Braves announced that he would replace the legendary Bobby Cox following his retirement after the Braves lost to the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS.
Eric Wedge was interviewed but ended up getting a job with the Seattle Mariners. Bob Melvin was also on the list, but many felt that he was not a good fit for the Cubs. Finally, Bob Brenly, the Cubs commentator, withdrew his name from consideration because he felt that he was not a good fit. Brenly was supported by many of the fans, but it appears that he will look elsewhere. No one really knows why.
Ryne Sandberg was a leading candidate as well. After managing 4 years in the Cubs’ farm system, many believed that he was being groomed to take over as the next Cub Manager. The former Cub second baseman and Hall Of Famer, managed the Cubs’ Triple A affiliate, Iowa team to a first place tie this past season. Sandberg won the Pacific Coast League Manager Of The Year Award and proved that he was a legitimate candidate to manage at the big league level. Upon hearing the news that Quade was named Manager, Ryno expressed his disappointment and decided that he will explore other opportunities. He has said, that it is his dream to manage in the Major leagues, if not in Chicago, then somewhere.
Finally, many diehard Cub fans expected Jim Hendry, the Cubs’ GM, and Tom Ricketts, the Cubs’ Owner and Chairman, to wait till after the post-season to talk to New York Yankees’ Manager, Joe Girardi. The Cubs have stated that they wanted to have a manager in place by the November Organizational Meetings in November, but there was no hurry to rush the interview process. That led many to speculate that the Cubs were waiting to interview one last managerial candidate, particularly former Cubs’ Catcher, Joe Girardi, whose New York Yankees were still alive in their quest for another World Series championship. Apparently, Joe Girardi, who many believed to be the most experienced, successful, qualified candidate for the job, was never even considered. Upon hearing the news at a Yankee press conference, Girardi appeared shocked by the news but quickly congratulated Mike Quade on the decision.
So why are diehard Cub fans bitterly disappointed and angry?
No one can argue that Mike Quade earned his right to manage. The reason that the diehard Cub fans are outraged is the complete lack of loyalty and disdain that Jim Hendry and Tom Ricketts have displayed toward two of the diehard Cub fan favorites, Ryne Sandberg and Joe Girardi. First of all, the fans expected Jim Hendry to wait for Joe Girardi. While Girardi’s contract with the Yankees expires at the end of the season, there was some question as to whether or not he will return to New York for another season. Many believed that he might have interest in coming home to Chicago. He has said in the past, that managing the Cubs was his dream job. He interviewed for the Cubs’ managerial position before, but failed to land the job because of his inexperience managing. Since then, he managed a young Florida Marlin team and has led the New York Yankees to a World Series championship. This time around, Joe Girardi was completeley snubbed by the Cubs. He wasn’t even granted an interview. Sad. The other sad part of the managerial search was the treatment of Ryne Sandberg. Many believed that if Mike Quade did get the job, then Ryno would be promoted to Bench Coach. Instead, Sandberg was snubbed once again. He was never offered the position. Now Ryno has to deal with the disappointing news and will most likely leave the Cubs’ Organization to manage another team somewhere else. Two former Cubs, unwelcomed in their own backyard. This is why Cubs’ Fans are furious.
Tom Ricketts trusted Jim Hendry to make the final decision. Jim Hendry demonstrated a complete and utter lack of loyalty in the managerial search. He has shown disdain toward former Cubs, who have become fan favorites over the years. While it was a great day for Mike Quade, who finally gets the opportunity to manage in the big leagues, it remains a sad day in Wrigleyville. Tom Ricketts has stated publicly, that the Cubs should listen to the diehard Cub fans more. Unfortunately, no one is listening and the diehard Cub fans are extremely angry and disappointed by the PR disaster that Jim Hendry has created. Many fans have expressed their anger by deciding to no longer support the team. Many will stay away from Wrigley. Many have cried for Jim Hendry’s resignation or termination. Many diehard Cubs’ fans have simply given up. I have been a diehard Cubs’ fan for the past 32 years and my hopes and dreams of seeing the Cubs win a World Series has been crushed, not because Mike Quade was named Manager, but because two of my all-time favorite Cubs, Ryne Sandberg and Joe Girardi were treated with a lack of respect and a lack of loyalty. Somebody please tell me why I should remain loyal to the Cubs when there is no loyalty in the Cubs’ Organization. I will have to search my heart before I will watch the Cubs again. My faith and trust in this organization has been shattered. It breaks my heart. Thank you, Tom Ricketts and Jim Hendry, your lack of loyalty has just cost you thousands and thousands of loyal Cub fans everywhere. What were you thinking?