Canadian connection for Cubs manager

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:54 PM ET

NEW YORK — The road to the major leagues still goes through Ottawa.

Mike Quade, who managed the triple-A Ottawa Lynx in 1993, was named manager of the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.

That removes any and all doubt that New York Yankees current manager Joe Girardi, who grew up in Peoria, Ill., and attended Northwestern University in Chicago, will be returning to sweet home Chicago to manage the Cubs.

And it also removes any and all doubt that Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg will manage the Cubs. Could the Blue Jays turn there?

Quade managed 2,234 games in the minors in the Pittsburgh Pirates, Montreal Expos, Philadelphia Phillies, Oakland A’s and Cubs organizations before taking over when Lou Piniella stepped down in late August.

Under Quade, the Cubs went 24-13.

Hello Wrigley.

What about that saying scouts often use about not putting too much stock into evaluating in September?

That all went out the window for the Cubs.

“Congrats to Mike,” Girardi told reporters before Game 4 of the best-of-seven American League Championship Series on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Did Girardi feel a sense of relief or disappointment with the Cubs’ distraction removed?

“I wasn’t talking about it anyway, so I had not really been asked about it since our time in Chicago,” said Girardi. He had discussed the Cubs on a Yanks trip to U.S. Cellular Field in August after Piniella retired as a Chicago newspaper ran a man’s silhouette on its back page under the headline “Right Man For the Job.”

The story inside revealed the man to be Girardi.

“I’m focused on what we are trying to do here,” Girardi said. “I’m not worried about next year. Or the year after that. I’m worried about right now.”

And as he sent A.J. Burnett to the mound, trailing the Texas Rangers 2-1, some could point out, he should be worried.

Girardi said he and his agent, Steve Mandell, had at a preliminary conversation about the possibility of an offer from the Cubs.

“My agent and I talked about it,” Girardi said. “I told him: ‘I’m gonna worry about (managing the Yankees) now.’ ”

This removes Girardi’s leverage in contract negotiations with the Yanks which will begin after the season ends.

“I don’t worry about that,” Girardi said. “I’ve been extremely blessed in that area as well.”

In Ottawa, Quade’s Lynx went 73-69 finishing 11/2 games behind the Rochester Red Wings. He now joins Billy Gardner and George Bamberger as those who wore the Ottawa uniform to have managed in the majors.

Gardner who managed the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals, played third base for the 1951 triple-A team based in Ottawa, an affiliate of the New York Giants. Bamberger, who managed the Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets, was a teammate that season.

Former New York Mets manager Davey Johnson pointed out a reason Girardi may want to leave in a New York Times column this week.

Johnson managed the Balitmore Orioles and knew some day that the day would come when he’d have to tell an aging Hall of Famer Cal Ripken it was time to sit down, become a part timer.

Johnson explained that Giradi has that problem ... multiplied by four with the Yankees core four of catcher Jorge Posada, shortstop Derek Jeter, lefty Andy Pettitte and closer Mariano Rivera.

Francisco Cervelli was behind the plate Tuesday to catch Burnett, as he had been for Burnett’s previous 11 starts.

“Jorge wants to play every day, that’s the bottom line,” Girardi told reporters. “And when you’ve been an everyday player, your heart sometimes tells you one thing, your mind tells you another.

“I was never happy sitting and I was an everyday player for a while, then I was a platoon guy for a while and I wanted to play every day. It’s not always easiest to accept.”


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