The Peter Principle states that “in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.” That means that employees tend to be promoted until they reach a position at which they cannot work competently. Most of us shoulda kept our last job, basically. You’ll see this in action if NBC ever decides to give me my own TV show.
Anyway, Mike Quade seems like a victim of that. He’s become a near-punchline for his rather feckless one year and change stint as Cubs manager, but that obscures the fact that he was a highly respected minor league manager and major league coach who should, if there is justice in the world, have no problem obtaining another high-level job in someone’s organization. Like, say, the Twins:
Former Cubs manager Mike Quade is one of a handful of candidates the Twins are interested in to manage their Class AAA affiliate in Rochester, N.Y … Other Rochester candidates include former Red Sox first base coach Ron Johnson, former Mets bench coach Ken Oberkfell, former Braves hitting coach Larry Parrish and former White Sox third base coach Jeff Cox.
Ambition is awesome, but let’s hear it for people finding places where they are both comfortable and can excel.
In an age in which even baseball’s richest teams talk about tight budgets and keeping payroll low, it’s pretty rare to hear anyone connected with a front office talking about freely spending money. Phillies owner John Middleton, however, offered up something rare about the team’s approach to free agency.
“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” he told Bob Nightengale or USA Today. He then added, “we just prefer not to be completely stupid.” That save aside, it was a pretty unusual sentiment these days.
“Stupid” could certainly mean Bryce Harper, who the Phillies have long been expected to pursue. It could even mean Harper and Manny Machado. Why not? At the moment the Phillies’ payroll for 2019 is looking to be just a shade above $100 million, so even adding, say, $70 million to that would not put them in an unreasonable position compared to other competitors. And that’s before you figure in any sort of back-loading or deferred money that Harper and/or Machado might agree to.
Or, even if they didn’t get one or both of those guys, they could spend that same kind of money on multiple free agents. Patrick Corbin? Marwin Gonzalez? A handful of others? We counted down the top 100 free agents last week and any number of them could be acquired given the sort of payroll flexibility a large market team like the Phillies appear to have. It merely requires the will to do it. A will which, it seems, John Middleton possesses.