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Chicago Cubs Manager Mike Quade shakes hands with his players during introductions prior to playing the Pittsburgh Pirates on opening day at Wrigley Field on April 1, 2011.
Cubs manager Mike Quade expects to return next season, despite Chicago's dismal record and numerous changes ahead, including the hiring of a new general manager.
Quade has one year left on his contract. He got the job after an impressive stint as an interim manager at the end of the 2010 season.
It has been a trying season -- the Cubs are 69-87 after beating Milwaukee in their Wrigley Field finale Wednesday. Quade has had to deal with numerous issues, including injuries to two starters, Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner early in the season, the suspension of right-hander Carlos Zambrano and the firing of the man who hired him, general manager Jim Hendry.
"I'm not going to wax nostalgic thinking 'Oh, my God, what now?' I plan to be back and I plan to do a good job next year," Quade said.
"Now if they make a decision in a different direction, so be it. ..."
Quade said he always evaluates himself, especially in game situations, but there are not many decisions he would change. He acknowledged the Cubs' starting pitching has struggled and the team has been poor fundamentally, especially on defense where they now have 130 errors after making two more Wednesday.
"I'm disappointed in the record. I'm not disappointed in myself at all," Quade said before Wednesday's game. "The contract has nothing to do with it. I'm not sitting here comfortable because I have a contract next year. I like doing this and I think I'm good doing it and that's the way I look at this. Whether I had a one-year deal or two-year deal or a five-year deal, that's the way I feel."
But his future will likely rest with a new GM who will be hired after the season. Quade hopes to have a sit-down meeting with whomever that might be. How much input chairman Tom Ricketts has in Quade's staying or leaving is not clear.
Before even hiring a new GM, Ricketts has already retained two members of the front office, player development director Oneri Fleita and scouting director Tim Wilken.
Quade managed thousands of games in the minors and was a coach before getting his chance at running a major league club. It's been difficult year. He said he would take the blame for not winning more games, but believes the Cubs have showed with a winning record since July 31 they can and will be a better team. Fretting about what will happen in the offseason is not something he's doing.
"I've had enough sleepless nights dealing with some of the things that have happened this season," he said. "I don't lose sleep over things I can't control."
Quade's future with the Cubs is just one of several to be decided after the season ends. The team holds a $16 million mutual option next season on third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who was batting .306 with 25 homers and 92 RBIs before sitting out Wednesday with a quadriceps injury.
Ramirez's agent met Wednesday with acting general manager Randy Bush.
"I knew it wasn't a big deal because we don't have a GM. I knew nothing was going to come of it," Ramirez said after Wednesday's game.
"Once I hit the market, I'll have a better idea what's going on. The chances of coming back here don't look very good right now."
Ramirez said he would like to see the Cubs add some players to become competitive again as they did after a dismal 2006 season. They then went to the playoffs in 2007 and 2008.
Also to be determined is what to do with the emotional Zambrano, who cleaned out his locker and talked about retiring after giving up five homers and being ejected during a loss to Atlanta on Aug. 12. He was then suspended for 30 days without pay. After that ended, it was decided he would sit out the remainder of the season.
Quade said it would be tough for Zambrano to rejoin the team.