It was an upset when Mike Quade beat out Ryne Sandberg to be manager of the Chicago Cubs, and Cubs fans still have plenty of reasons to be upset about it.
Quade’s competence for the job is being questioned with the Cubs owning the second-worst record (35-53) in the major leagues after Wednesday’s games.
Critics are ripping Quade for his handling of the pitching staff, criticism he invited after allowing St. Louis’ Albert Pujols to hit back-to-back walk-off home runs against the Cubs in June. The Cubs are a train wreck defensively, too, often failing to execute fundamental plays.
“I don’t know what the heat is, or what the (fan) conversation is. I’m the hardest guy on Mike Quade in the world,” Quade told the Chicago Tribune, adding that he enjoys being questioned about his decisions.
The Cubs’ worst decision was snubbing Sandberg, who has managed the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, an affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, to a 50-36 record and first place in their division in the Triple-A International League.
To be fair, Quade can’t do anything about Alfonso Soriano swinging at curveballs in the dirt or Kosuke Fukudome wasting $14.5 million.
But it also would be unfair to compare the Cubs to the “Bad News Bears.” The Bears had a better manager in Morris Buttermaker, and they showed dramatic improvement before reaching the championship game against the Yankees.
The Cubs have the sixth-highest payroll in baseball. The Bears were sponsored by Chico’s Bail Bonds.
■ ONE AND DUNN — The White Sox are hovering around .500, but the bad news is 300-pound Adam Dunn is batting .166 with eight homers and 110 strikeouts. Dunn has been a big bust in his first season with the team, and it’s bothering his manager.
“Ozzie Guillen joked that when his wife is feeling amorous, he’s too busy worrying about Dunn’s hitting to be interested,” wrote Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times.
“It’s a good thing he was kidding. Otherwise, he’d be a confirmed celibate by now.”
■ RETURN TO SENDER — Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams failed at his bizarre attempt to get a mail-order bride.
Williams is suing former girlfriend Brooke Daniels, the 2009 Miss Texas USA, to regain possession of a $76,000 engagement ring he sent by mail. He sent the ring with a taped marriage proposal in February.
It might appear Williams did everything right. But his mistake was forgetting to include a postage-paid return envelope.
■ ROTTEN RANKINGS? — The NFL Network needs filler material during the lockout, so it unveiled a list of the league’s top 100 players for 2011, as voted on by players.
“And, as fully expected, it’s a 100-pound mound of manure,” wrote Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Canepa disagreed with most of the rankings, including No. 1 (Tom Brady) and No. 2 (Peyton Manning).
“(Brady) is still exceptional, but not what he was,” Canepa said. “Has any player in history lost more big games than Manning? Doubtful.”
COMPILED BY MATT YOUMANS
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL