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Cubs hold team meeting in wake of skirmish

Cubs hold team meeting in wake of skirmish

Cubs hold team meeting in wake of skirmish
MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs manager Mike Quade met Thursday with the entire team to discuss the rash of defensive lapses, but did not call Carlos Silva and Aramis Ramirez into his office to make sure the two veterans had made peace after their dugout scuffle.

Silva and Ramirez had a brief skirmish in the dugout after the first inning of the Cubs-Brewers game in Phoenix Wednesday. The Cubs made three errors in the inning, including one by Ramirez, and Silva served up a pair of two-run homers. Chicago now has committed 14 errors in four games this spring.

"We just put things to bed and made sure things don't fester and kind of get a recommitment to cleaning up some of the mistakes we made," Quade said Thursday. "It's not just about saying we need to clean some of this stuff up, it's offering solutions and ideas that we think may help clean things up.

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"That doesn't mean it happens overnight," Quade said. "You want to make sure people are committed to the work they're doing, that they understand the differences in Arizona and the things that go on here, be it pop ups or the speed of the infield, all the things that this place presents. You just emphasize particularly the defensive end of it."

Quade was the only one who talked at the meeting. He was glad to see some of the players were as ticked off as he was by the sloppy play.

"I'm glad people are [upset]," he said. "We need to channel that anger at the opposition and within ourselves and that's all. Just handle it the way you need to handle it. I think we put that to bed and as far as I'm concerned, we did."

He did not call Silva and Ramirez into his office, opting to let the two resolve their differences. That doesn't mean he wants to see more altercations.

"Look, if we were going to have everybody fighting who has made mistakes this spring, we'd have the cage match of all time," Quade said. "Let's be honest -- it hasn't been good. It's surprised me because I've been happy with the work."

Quade wanted to let the players play the first week of games, but said he couldn't wait to say anything after the flurry of defensive miscues. The Cubs made three errors in each of their first three games, then another five on Wednesday in the 12-5 loss to the Brewers. His meeting Thursday was prompted more by the mistakes than the Silva-Ramirez fracas.

"I'm not interested in having donnybrooks in the dugout," Quade said. "I do like the fact that some people were [upset], I really do. Now, let's see if we can't take some of that in the right direction."

Silva will stay in the spring rotation. Quade did not feel the pitcher had to apologize to the players, nor did he need to see that Silva and Ramirez had settled things.

"I don't need to see a handshake," Quade said. "They need to go about their business. They need to get along as teammates the best they can and put this behind them. Whether it's an acknowledgement or conversation or handshake, I count on them to get that done. I don't need to witness a handshake or a hug."

Silva, who is competing for one of the spots in the Cubs' rotation, did not talk to the media after he came out of Wednesday's game, and did not want to talk early Thursday.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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