First of all, no one is anointing Mike Quade the next manager of your Chicago Cubs. He is an interim manager and there will be plenty of available candidates and many interviews for Cubs GM Jim Hendry to sort through this offseason.

Still, it is reasonable to assume that Quade’s assignment is an indication that he is, indeed, one of the candidates for the permanent job going forward.

As Quade himself stated, “It’s absolutely an audition.”

And, as the Associated Press announced, “Being a fixture on Piniella’s staff since 2007 and the manager of the Cubs’ triple-A affiliate for the four previous seasons gives Quade an inside track with the Cubs’ young players as they begin to remake their roster.”

Recognizing that, just what kind of manager is Quade going to be in his 37-game audition? 

Sure, it’s nice that his team has won the first two games of his managerial career, but in the grand scheme of things, that matters little.

And yes, we got a glimpse of what he prefers in his batting order as Quade decided to insert Blake DeWitt in the leadoff spot, move Alfonso Soriano down to seventh, and rest Kosuke Fukudome against right-hander Livan Hernandez in order to get Tyler Colvin back in the lineup.

But Geovany Soto was back to eighth in the lineup, and that is bad. And Tyler Colvin was back in right field. Why not play him at first base the rest of the season to see if he can play the position?

Quade has indicated that he isn’t going to put Colvin at first in the near future, which is disappointing to hear.

Now, if the Cubs were planning on signing Adam Dunn, then this might make sense. But if not, and the payroll concerns probably preclude that from happening, then you might as well move him now since you will be paying Kosuke Fukudome $13.5 million next season.

So this raises the concern that might face any so-called “interim” manager: his desire to win as many games as possible versus what is best for the club for next season.

As a minor league manager, Quade guided the West Michigan Whitecaps to the franchise’s first Midwest League championship in 1996.

The 53-year-old Quade has 17 years and 2,378 games of experience as a manager at the minor league level and seven years of coaching experience at the major league level.

He is said to be a fiery, aggressive manager, but it is difficult to find any tangible statistics to support any conclusions as to how he will manage the team.

Meanwhile, I do not think he will be given the opportunity long-term anyway. If Hendry was going to hire an unproven manager, he would be under too much pressure to hire Ryne Sandberg.

If owner Tom Ricketts has the final say, it will be Ryno.

But Hendry prefers experience at the major league level, so Fredi Gonzalez or Joe Girardi would be his choice.

Look, Chicago sports fans have already seen what a “Coach Q” can do for their hockey team, so maybe they will turn to their own version of “Coach Q” for their baseball team!


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