Give Theo Epstein credit.
He acted quickly and decisively Wednesday in dismissing Mike Quade as manager of the Cubs. The new Cubs baseball president also carried the news to Quade in person, flying to Florida to inform Quade that he was out after one-plus season.
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Not only is Quade out of a job, but Cubs Hall of Famer and fan favorite Ryne Sandberg is not in the picture to succeed Quade.
In a statement put out by the Cubs, Epstein is quoted as saying: "The managerial search process begins immediately. We are looking for someone with whom and around whom we can build a foundation for sustained success.
"The next manager must have leadership and communication skills; he must place an emphasis on preparation and accountability; he must establish high standards and a winning culture; he must have integrity and an open mind; and he must have managerial or coaching experience at the major-league level."
The last part of that statement rules out Sandberg, who was a minor-league manager in the Cubs' system for four years. Sandberg left the organization last fall, when Quade was given the full-time job after serving as manager for the final 37 games of the 2010 season.
Reports immediately surfaced that the St. Louis Cardinals were given permission Wednesday to interview Sandberg for their managerial job, which opened when Tony La Russa retired this week.
Quade managed the Cubs to a 24-13 record at the end of the 2010 season before leading the Cubs to a 71-91 record this year.
Several names have surfaced as possible replacements for Quade:
•Terry Francona, who was not brought back as manager of the Red Sox this fall, in part leading to the Cubs' hiring of Epstein from Boston.
•Dale Sveum, the hitting coach of the Milwaukee Brewers. Sveum was a Red Sox coach for two years, and he interviewed for the Boston job Wednesday. Sveum is thought to be highly regarded by Epstein.
The Boston Globe reported that Sveum likes to employ advanced statistics in his game preparation, something else that would make him an attractive candidate to the progressive-thinking Epstein.
•Joe Maddon, the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays.
•Dave Martinez, Maddon's bench coach.
•Mike Maddux, pitching coach of the Texas Rangers and brother of former Cubs great Greg Maddux, a member of the Cubs' front office.
Quade, 54, succeeded Lou Piniella as Cubs manager in August 2010 when Piniella retired. A Chicago native and a graduate of Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, Quade got his managerial break with the Cubs after spending three decades in baseball, 17 years as a minor-league manager.
He won good reviews for leading the Cubs to their strong finish in 2010, but he didn't have much of a chance this year.
The Cubs lost starting pitchers Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner to injuries during the first week of the season, and the offense floundered in the early going.
Quade also received criticism at times for perceptions that he left starting pitchers in games too long and for his public criticisms of young players Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney. He also was ejected from seven games this season, tying the single-season record for a Cubs manager.
When Cubs owner Tom Ricketts announced the firing of general manager Jim Hendry in August, Quade's status appeared shaky at best. Quade has one year left on his contract.
The fate of the coaching staff is uncertain, as well. Hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, bench coach Pat Listach and bullpen coach Lester Strode all have contracts that run through next year. Contracts are up for first-base coach Bob Dernier, third-base coach Ivan DeJesus, pitching coach Mark Riggins and special assistant Dave Keller.
Neither Epstein nor new GM Jed Hoyer had any comment beyond the statement the team issued.
•Follow Bruce Miles on Twitter @BruceMiles2112.