Cubs' Mike Quade holds team meeting
MESA, Ariz. -- Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade held a brief team meeting -- during which he did all the talking -- on Thursday in the wake of a dugout confrontation between Carlos Silva and Aramis Ramirez.
In these four games, there's been plenty of blame to go around. The fact it's resulted in a couple of veterans being pissed off ... that's even better than kids. I'm looking for no apologies, but an understanding that these situations must be handled differently.” -- Cubs manager Mike Quade
The two had to be separated on Wednesday after the first inning of a 12-5 error-filled loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. Silva yielded two home runs in the first while Ramirez committed one of three errors as the Brewers built a 6-1 lead. The Cubs have committed 14 errors in four spring games.
"If we were going to have everybody fighting that has made mistakes this spring, we'd have the cage match of all time," Quade said. "Let's be honest, it hasn't been good, and it has surprised me."
Ramirez said Wednesday that "it's in the past, and you move on." Silva rejected another request Thursday by the media to comment on his confrontation.
"At some point yeah [Silva will have to talk about it]," Quade said. "But it's between him and you guys at this point. Does he have to say something? I don't know. This is a situation where he addresses it from within and figures out what he wants to do."
Quade said there will be no fines or suspensions for any players, but he said the team has to put its energy toward more positive things in the future.
Quade, who is in his first season as a full-time major league manager, admitted he's "probably" facing the biggest challenge of his stint as Cubs manager.
"I'm glad it's early," Quade said. "And I'm glad I don't look at it as a big deal.
"Everything has gone kind of good, except for the obvious mistakes in the games. And then this. You never know what it takes, although I'm not interested in having any donnybrooks in the dugout. I'm more interested in us handling it. I do like the fact that some people were pissed off. I really do. Now let's see if we can take some of that in the right direction."
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Quade said Silva, who is battling for a spot in the starting rotation, does not owe anyone an apology.
"No, he doesn't. In these four games, there's been plenty of blame to go around," Quade said. "The fact it's resulted in a couple of veterans being pissed off ... that's even better than kids. I'm looking for no apologies, but an understanding that these situations must be handled differently."
Quade made sure to point out his talk to the team was not directed at anybody specifically.
"The conversation I had was not just with Silva and Ramirez exclusively," he said. "It was for everybody. It was for me.
"Now everybody has a chance to look in the mirror and say, 'What can we do differently to get better?' And how we handle altercations and stuff is important, because they're going to [happen]. Nothing goes smoothly. That's just not the nature of anything."
Still, Quade is happy the sloppiness was addressed.
"That little blowup notwithstanding, it was time for me or someone to say something about the sloppiness," he said. "Not because of just the physical errors, but the mental errors. These are things that whole group of us know that we need to overcome."
Quade said he would intensify some drills for certain players. Second-year shortstop Starlin Castro was getting extra infield help, although Quade said he would play the next three days after not playing Thursday.
Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.
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