Mike Quade feels that he's done everything possible to become the next manager of the Chicago Cubs. He's managed 17 seasons in the minors, earned Manager of the Year honors twice, won multiple championships, coached for two major league teams, spent the past four seasons as a coach for the very Cubs he hopes to manage, had possibly the best start in Cubs history for an interim manager going 24-13, and has players saying they want him to be their manager in 2011. It sure sounds like an impressive resume, but one thing might be missing. Does Mike Quade (pronounced "KWAH-dee") have a sexy enough name to become the next Cubs manager?
"Does the sexiness of a name factor into our thought process? Of course it does," admits Jim Hendry, Cubs general manager. "How else do you explain us giving $136 million to Alfonso Soriano?"
So which sexy names might be on the Cubs radar? It's no secret that Cub fans carry a torch for a name like Joe Girardi, who is a former Cub, won a recent World Series, and has the Italian thing going on. Although, the name that really pushes all the right buttons for Cubbie Nation is that of Ryne Sandberg, a Hall of Fame Cub and the most lovable of the Lovable Losers.
"Of all the names being considered for the Cubs managerial opening, I realize that mine isn't the sexiest," says Quade. "But you have to remember, my birth name was Gregory Quade. So I'm trying. You at least have to admit that Mike Quade sounds better than Gregory Quade."
However, if Quade hears that his name is the only thing keeping him from his dream job, he's willing to compromise. "If it came down to it, yes, I'd change my name. My wife has already suggested that I change it to the most successful name in managing today: Bobby Cox. She also just likes the idea of waking up every morning in the arms of a Bobby Cox."
It's hard to know what the future will hold, but two names that Quade doesn't have to worry about would be the previous two Cubs managers: Lou Piniella and Dusty Baker. Quade adds, "As far as I'm concerned, the name 'Dusty Baker' sounds like a health code violation."