Chicago Cubs Give Manager Mike Quade a 2 year deal

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Announced this morning, the Chicago Cubs and manager Mike Quade reached agreement on a two-year contract with a club option for the 2013 season.  Quade arrived in Chicago yesterday to finalize the deal and a press conference will be held today at Wrigley Field at 3 p.m.
Quade, 53, became the 51st manager in franchise history when he took the helm on August 23 following Lou Piniella’s retirement the day before.  The 2011 campaign marks Quade’s ninth in the Cubs organization, as he served as Piniella’s third base coach for nearly four seasons starting in 2007 and was the manager of Chicago’s Triple-A Iowa team from 2003-06.

In addition to his six-week stint at the big league level this season, Quade has 17 years and 2,378 games of experience as a manager at the minor league level, compiling a career 1,213-1,165 mark (.510 winning percentage).

Quade has served as a major league coach in the American and National Leagues, including three seasons as Oakland ’s first base coach from 2000-02 and the near four years as third base coach with the Cubs.

Quade has more than 25 years of pro coaching and managing experience, including a pair of minor league manager of the year awards with Double-A Harrisburg in 1991 and Triple-A Ottawa in 1993.  As a winter ball manager, Quade led Aguilas Cibaenas to the 1996-97 Dominican Winter League Championship and Caribbean World Series title.

In 1999, Quade led Vancouver to the Pacific Coast League Championship and won the Triple-A World Series.  A year later, Quade received his first major league coaching opportunity with Oakland.

And he’s a local boy too.

The Chicago area native and graduate of Mt. Prospect High School joined the Cubs organization in 2003 as manager of the Triple-A Iowa club.  A year later in 2004, Quade led the I-Cubs to a spot in the League Championship Series and totaled two first-place finishes in his four seasons at the helm to earn the promotion to Piniella’s major league coaching staff.

As a major league manager this season, Quade led the Cubs to a 24-13 mark from August 23 until the end of the season, the second-best record in all of baseball during that span (trailing only the Philadelphia Phillies).  The Cubs had a 17-8 record through 25 games under Quade, the best 25-game start by a Cubs manager in 78 years (Charlie Grimm in 1932).  The Cubs were 5-20 in their 25 games before Quade took over.

Whether he can build off that “garbage time” success in 2010, and carry it over to 2011 and beyond obviously depends on what new pieces GM Jim Hendry gives him this winter. Obviously there’s going to be a few more moves by the Cubs front office this offseason.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest webzine. He is also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter Football.com, the Washington Times Communities, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

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