Mike Quade admitted to running the gamut of emotions after being fired Wednesday as Cubs manager. But he took the high road and thanked the Cubs for the opportunity to manage his hometown team.
New team president Theo Epstein flew to Florida to give Quade the bad news that he was out after one-plus season with a year left on his contract.
Epstein and newly hired general manager Jed Hoyer met with Quade last week for "six or seven hours," something Quade said he appreciated.
Still, being fired hurt.
"Every emotion you could imagine," Quade said by phone Wednesday evening. "You're upset. You're mad. You're all that stuff. That's why you need to take time and sort things out more than anything.
"But the way I was treated by Theo and Jed was huge to me. Am I disappointed? Yeah. Would I have loved to do it more? Yeah. But that's the nature of the game. They were just great. That I can appreciate. Respect, to me, matters a great deal."
The 54-year-old Quade, a graduate of Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, led the Cubs to a record of 71-91 this year. He won the full-time job in the fall of 2010 after taking over for Lou Piniella and guiding the Cubs to a 24-13 finish to that season.
The 2011 season was doomed almost as it started as the Cubs lost starting pitchers Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner to injuries after their first starts. Wells missed two months, and Cashner missed almost the entire season.
"I don't think you ever have a tough year in anything and don't have regrets," Quade said. "I don't have a ton (of regrets). Strategically, I don't have a ton.
"You look at how you dealt with a lot of adversity. We're here to win ballgames. Everybody's expecting you to have a ton of regrets, but I don't have many.
"In general, I think we handled a tough situation pretty well. Perfectly? No. But specific regrets about this or that? No."
Quade said he was not offered another job within the organization and that he understood.
He cited the walkout of pitcher Carlos Zambrano and the firing of GM Jim Hendry as two tough situations during the season.
"It had a (heck) of a baptism, I tell you that," he said. "People say, 'Did you have a chance?' I'm not going down that road. I had a (heck) of an opportunity, and I'm so appreciative. There are so many people in that front office that do a good job, and you appreciate all that.
"Nobody said it was going to be easy. It was unfortunate things developed that first week (of the season) the way they did. We just weren't deep enough to counteract it. You show up every day and try to battle like heck and get through it."