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.
Major League Baseball has announced the umpiring crew for the World Series. John Hirschbeck is the crew chief. It’s his fifth World Series assignment, third as a crew chief.
A surprising name on the crew is Joe West. It’ll be his sixth World Series overall, but first since 2012. There had been chatter for several years that Major League Baseball was making a more concerted effort to get its best umpires into the World Series more often while minimizing the appearances of its weakest umpires. Most assumed West’s absence from the Fall Classic in recent years, despite his seniority, was a function of that. Maybe they’re still making merit a priority and maybe West has just improved? I’ll leave that for you to judge.
Anyway, here is the lineup of umps for Game 1. They will rotate after that, of course. If the series goes six games, Cowboy Joe will be calling the balls and strikes:
Home plate: Larry Vanover
1B: Chris Guccione
2B: John Hirschbeck
3B: Marvin Hudson
LF: Tony Randazzo
RF: Joe West
Replay Official for Games 1-2: Sam Holbrook (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)
Replay Official for Games 3-7: Larry Vanover (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)