Cubs

Quade will give in to the 'Moneyball' hype

492320.jpg

Quade will give in to the 'Moneyball' hype

Friday, Sept. 23, 2011Posted: 10:29 p.m. Updated: 11:08 p.m.
By Patrick Mooney
CSNChicago.com Cubs Insider Follow @CSNMooney Cubs 5, Cardinals 1: Box score Photo gallery
READ: Castro picks up 200th hit
WATCH: Frankie O talks to Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill in his review of 'Moneyball'
WATCH: Kap goes one-on-one with Jonah HillST. LOUIS -- Mike Quade has a business degree from the University of New Orleans.The television in his office almost always seems to be turned to thecable news channels. He follows the stock market and spends asignificant part of his day looking at numbers.

With that kind of background, the Cubs manager should be fascinated byan analytical movie that received four stars from Roger Ebert andshould generate serious Oscar buzz.

But as someone who worked seven years in the Oakland organization, Quade has already lived through Moneyball.

Im a rental guy wait until the DVD comes out, Quade said Friday asthe movie opened in theaters across the country. That way I dont haveto walk out of the theater if I dont care for it. I can just turn itoff and move on. But I am a little curious, just to see how itsdepicted, as far as what liberties were taken.

Quade did his job while best-selling author Michael Lewis shadowedBilly Beane during the 2002 season. The As found market inefficienciesand won 103 games, but Quade didnt return the next year as first-basecoach, in part because of a personality conflict and Beanes insistenceon putting Bob Geren on the staff.

While the behind-the-scenes book immediately became a hit upon itsrelease in 2003, Quade wound up managing in Des Moines. There MichaelGartner, an owner of the Cubs Triple-A Iowa affiliate, came into hisoffice.

From the minute the book came out, he plopped it on my desk, Quaderecalled. (He goes): I want you to read this and tell me whats trueand whats not true.

Quades counter-offer: You read the book and ask me. There will be allsorts (of) stuff that youll wonder about. Just come ask me and Illgive you my story.

Moneyball clearly hit a nerve among baseball fans and inside businessschools. Quade has only read excerpts of the book, which had a hugeimpact on the way the industry and journalists looked at and understoodthe game. The managers seen the trailers for the movie, and knows hewont be able to escape this time.

Curiosity will get the best of me, Quade said.

Shut down Ramirez?

Aramis Ramirez continues to receive treatment on his right quad, andthe hope is that hell be available to pinch-hit at some point thisweekend in St. Louis. The third baseman is already looking forward tohis next contract, but the Cubs arent ready to say his seasons overyet.

He hasnt indicated to me that hes interested in shutting it down,Quade said. Its a different thing in the middle of the season whenyour rosters locked in at 25 (and) you got to do something with thisspot. (Well) keep working on him and hope he gets better quickly.Patrick Mooney is CSNChicago.com's Cubs beat writer. Follow Patrick on Twitter @CSNMooney for up-to-the-minute Cubs news and views.

Theo Epstein brushes aside rumors: 'There's essentially zero trade talks involving the Cubs'

Theo Epstein brushes aside rumors: 'There's essentially zero trade talks involving the Cubs'

No, the Cubs are not currently talking to the Baltimore Orioles about bringing Manny Machado to the North Side of Chicago.

So says Theo Epstein, the Cubs president of baseball operations who met with the media at Wrigley Field ahead of Friday's series opener with the San Francisco Giants.

Epstein vehemently shot down the notion of trade talks and specified the major diffence between trade rumors and trade talks, while refusing to comment on Machado in particular.

"I'm not addressing any specific rumor or any player with another team," Epstein said. "I would never talk about that in a million years. The simple way to put it is there's been a lot of trade rumors involving the Cubs and there's essentially zero trade talks involving the Cubs.

"There's a real disparity between the noise and the reality and unfortunately, sometimes that puts a player or two that we have in a real tough circumstance. And that's my job to clarify there's nothing going on right now.

"We have more than enough ability to win the division, win the World Series and we really need to focus on our roster and getting the most out of our ability and finding some consistency. Constant focus outside the organization doesn't do us any good, especially when it's not based in reality right now."

The Cubs have presented a united front publicly in support of Addison Russell, whose name has been the one bandied about most as a potential leading piece in any move for Machado.

After all, the Cubs have won a World Series and never finished worse than an NLCS berth with Russell as their shortstop and he's only 24 with positive signs of progression offensively.

Trading away 3.5 years of control of Russell for 3-4 months of Machado is the type of bold, go-for-it move the Cubs did in 2016 when their championship drought was well over 100 years.

Now, the championship drought is only one season old and the window of contention is expected to remain open until through at least the 2021 season.

Epstein likes to point out that every season is sacred, but at what cost? The Cubs front office is still very much focused on the future beyond 2018.

"Everybody's talking about making trades in May — the first part of the season is trying to figure out who you are," Epstein said. "What are the strengths of the club? What are the weaknesses of the club? What's the character of the club? What position is the club gonna be in as we get deeper in the season? What's our short-term outlook? What's our long-term outlook? What's the chemistry in the clubhouse?

"All those things. It's a process to get there and figure it out. If you rush to those kinds of judgments, you can oftentimes make things worse. I think it's important to figure out exactly who you are and give guys a chance to play and find their level and see how all the pieces fit together before you make your adjustments."

So there's no chance we could see the Cubs once again jump the market and make an early deal like they did last year for Jose Quintana or five years ago for Jake Arrieta? Will they definitely wait another five weeks until July to make a move?

"It's just the natural order of things," Epstein said. "We wouldn't be opposed to doing something, but that's not the case right now. It's not happening."

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 10th, 11th homers in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 10th, 11th homers in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa is heating up, but even a red-hot Sosa doesn't automatically equal wins for the Cubs.

Slammin' Sammy notched his first multi-homer game in 1998 in a 9-5 loss to Kevin Millwood and the Atlanta Braves. Sosa drove in 4 of the Cubs' 5 runs on a solo shot in the 4th inning and a three-run shot in the 8th. 

Sosa tallied 830 feet of homers in the game, with his first blast going 410 feet and the second shot measured at 420 feet.

The big game bumped Sosa's overall season slash line to .337/.411/.551 (.962 OPS) with 11 homers and 35 RBI.

Fun fact: Mickey Morandini hit second for the Cubs in this game and went 4-for-4, but somehow only scored one run despite hitting just in front of Sosa all game. That's because Morandini was caught stealing to end the 3rd inning, leaving Sosa to lead off the 4th inning with a solo blast.