"PLAY BALL" Two words that precede the great American sport of baseball and stand as a pillar of meaning for its fans. But what does it mean? The art of baseball encompasses both rigorous individualism and team dedication like no other sport in the world.
Having had over forty five years of observation time on the Cubs, I have seen the Cubs have great cohesive moments. I have also watched the Cubs falter as a team and a club. There were many memorable moments in the days of Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Ryne Sanberg, Rick sutcliff and Jody Davis.
But over the last few years the Cubs have had marginal seasons at best. Individualism on the club has played a distracting role for the fans and I believe the club as well. Invidual problems have plagued the Cubs and stood out in the media.
In the last moments of the 2010 season, it became abundantly clear that the Cubs were in need of a change of leadership. That change was made and Mike Quade stepped into the shoes of the Interim Manager of the Chicago Cubs. At the end of the 2010 season. Quade, who previously was the Cubs' third-base coach, took over for Lou Piniella on Aug. 23 and went 24-13 over Chicago's final 37 games this season. He received a two-year contract with a team option for the 2013 season. Until Quade stepped in the Cubs were lifeless at the end of 2010.
Over the last few weeks, the Cubs have however showed promise for the coming weeks of 2011. Mike Quade has shown his passion for the game, and the Cubs have been playing baseball as a team. Observations show, that the team has worked to improve game tactics. the use of baseball plays, bunts, stolen bases, hitting and fielding are all being used.
Home Runs are important, but so is the lineup and rotation. In fact the line up, rotation and where the home run is placed in time is far more important that the individual who hits the home run. I believe that Mike Quade sees this too.