Quade soldiers on amid Sandberg speculation

Quade soldiers on amid Sandberg speculation

CHICAGO -- While Cubs general manager Jim Hendry is in Albuquerque with the Triple-A Iowa team to talk to Ryne Sandberg about the Major League job, Mike Quade is taking care of business in Chicago.

Hendry is in the early stages of the interview process to find a replacement for Lou Piniella, who retired on Aug. 22. So far, Hendry has talked to former Cleveland manager Eric Wedge. Sandberg, currently managing the Triple-A Iowa team, has made it clear he'd like to be the one who replaces Piniella. One option the Cubs may try to sell Sandberg on is being a coach on the big league staff.

Quade has spent 17 seasons as a Minor League manager; Sandberg is in his fourth season. Since taking over for Piniella on Aug. 23, the Cubs have gone 5-3 under Quade.

"The biggest difference to me," Quade said about managing in the Minors versus the Major Leagues, "has been the crush of information I have to process. You process information at the Triple-A level, you've got left-right matchups, but you don't have the specifics and the sample size -- and [Alfonso] Soriano has 40 at-bats off somebody [for example]."

Quade used to rely on handwritten notes when he managing in Des Moines, Huntsville and Rockford. Now, he has complicated computer printouts to decipher.

The other switch from being a third-base coach to a big league manager has been dealing with the media on a daily basis.

"It's a lot more fun talking to you guys after a big win, obviously," Quade said. "It's all good -- and you guys didn't bother me for three, four years, so I guess I'm overdue."

Sandberg, a Hall of Fame second baseman, is in his first year at Triple-A after spending two seasons with Class A Peoria and the 2008 season with Double-A Tennessee. He led the Smokies to the Southern League championship series last year. This year, the Iowa Cubs have a half-game lead in the Pacific Coast League Northern Division.

Quade, meanwhile, just goes about his business. He said he's going to pull rank and skip the coaching clinics, but will still throw batting practice. His parents are heading to Wrigley Field from Naples, Fla., this week and picking up his sister in Indianapolis. His college coach at the University of New Orleans was in town on Tuesday to pose for pictures.

Quade is the 51st manager in Cubs franchise history and the sixth born in Illinois.