Cubs manager Mike Quade wasn’t very happy in the clubhouse after his team turned a four-run lead after six innings into a 7-4 loss to the Reds.
Here’s some of what he said:
That was embarrassing.That [stuff] has got to stop. And it’s everybody that was in that room for that meeting. Myself, the players and the coaching staff. It’s just not going to cut it right now. Nothing is [freaking] easy up here. You’ve got a nice 4-0 lead and “Z” is cruising and everything is hunky-dory. I’ve got news for you. It ain’t routine until the freaking thing is over. We’ve got to play that way. We’re not good enough to coast at all.
Anyone who can use the phrase “hunky-dory” in the same quote as the actual words represented by “[stuff]” and “[freaking]” is OK with me and I also appreciate Quade lumping himself and the coaching staff in with the criticism.
Quade went 24-13 after taking over for Lou Piniella last season, but so far this year the Cubs are just 17-22.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.