Mike Quade managed the Cubs to a 24-13 record down the stretch last season after replacing Lou Piniella and that earned him a two-year contract worth around $2 million, but a year later the honeymoon is definitely over.
Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com notes that today marks the one-year anniversary of Quade becoming the interim manager and during that time his record is 80-85, including 56-72 this season.
To suggest the team’s struggles are entirely Quade’s fault is misguided, of course, but then again giving him full credit for last season’s late turnaround followed similarly flawed logic.
He still has 34 games to get things back on track this season, but ultimately it may be a moot point as the general manager hired to replace Jim Hendry will likely want to bring in his own manager and presumably owner Tom Ricketts is willing to eat Quade’s guaranteed salary for 2012.
Quade has clashed with several players, including most recently and consistently Starlin Castro, but veterans like Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano stuck up for the manager when talking to Mooney yesterday.
A brutal couple of updates on the night of Jose Fernandez’s death from Jeff Passan of Yahoo and from Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald.
Passan reports on the leadup to the fateful boat trip. About how a friend of one of the other men killed on the boat had pleaded with him not to go out in the dark. Then there’s this:
After Saturday’s game, Fernandez had asked a number of teammates to join him on the boat. One by one, they declined.
Marcell Ozuna was one of them. Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald reports:
Following Monday’s game, Ozuna said he turned down an invitation from Fernandez after Saturday night’s game to go out with him and join him for a spin on his boat . . . “That night I told him, ‘Don’t go out,’” Ozuna said. “Everybody knew he was crazy about that boat and loved being out on the water. I told him I couldn’t go out that night because I had the kids and my wife waiting for me.
Losing a friend and teammate under such circumstances is brutal enough. Adding on survivor’s guilt would be close to impossible to bear.
David Ortiz has used Derek Jeter’s Player’s Tribune as his personal podium all year as he says goodbye to the Major Leagues. He continues that today, on the eve of his final series against the Yankees.
In it Ortiz talks about what playing the Yankees meant to him over the course of his career. About how the fan hate was real but something he embraced. About how the series back in the days of Jeter and Pettitte and Mariano and Mussina were “wars.” He also talks about how the Yankees were basically everything when he was growing up in the Dominican Republic. The only caps and shirts you saw were Yankees shirts and how they were about the only team you could see on TV there. As such, coming to Boston and then playing against the Yankees was a big, big deal.
Ortiz says “[s]ome players are born to be Yankees, you know what I’m saying? I was born to play against the Yankees.”
And he’ll get to do it only three more times.