There are two basic schools of thought about Mike Quade’s recent comments on Carlos Silva: 1) Mike Quade is the greatest, toughest, smartest son of a gun in baseball; 2) Mike Quade is a verbose, no good, sucker-punching fool. There is no in between. Of course there is still only one school of thought on Carlos Silva: he’s fat ugly, mean, and terrible at baseball.
I guess I’m a little slow, because I don’t understand what got Quade’s scalp all smudged. Let’s take another look at what has been said of late, and let’s see if we can get to the bottom of who’s the awesome stud and who is loco. Here’s what Silva said after the announcement that Andrew Cashner would be the team’s 5th starter and Silva was invited to invest in rentals in Iowa a half hour after he was told he was pitching well:
“I’m like, if you have to say something, be straight,” Silva said. “[Cubs pitching coach Mark Riggins] has to learn he’s in the big leagues now. There are no kids around here. . . . The way he laid it out, it was like, I don’t know what he was trying to do.
“He was like ‘Man, you’ve been throwing the ball good, you can pitch, all of that, blah, blah, blah. If you go out there to Triple-A and throw some games to continue building, to continue getting better.’ I was like, ‘I don’t need to go there. I’m ready to go. I feel good and I’m ready to pitch.’
“Then he told me there was not going to be a spot in the rotation or in the bullpen either. He should have started with that first, and then say you’re strong (throwing) in the bullpen.”
“Say what you have to say and say it,” he said. “Don’t say people are competing for a spot because it wasn’t true. Nobody was competing for a spot. They already had their rotation done. It was very clear.”
I emphasized that last part because I hope it was true. But all in all, it’s not at all shocking. It’s a classic example of someone who copes with the reception of bad news by blaming the messenger and the method of delivery. I would have felt better about losing the lottery if the spokesmodel wasn’t so smiley about it. Or I wish you would have told me sooner or You couldn’t have waited for a better time to tell me? And my personal favorite, Following the Cubs would be a lot less depressing if it wasn’t for the crappy beat writers. We all do it. Carlos shouldn’t be proud of his comments, but they weren’t that bad.
Then we got Jim Hendry’s reaction to Silva complaining about how he was informed he was out of a job:
“Obviously, we’re dealing with a man that at this particular point in his career is not willing to face the facts, that what he’s done the last few years, except for a two-month period, is well below major league standards and who seems to have the continual problem of blaming everybody but himself.
Basically, he wasn’t good enough to make the team. You factor in not only spring training, but you try to go back and factor in the second half last year, and you’re looking at a guy that had a 14-something ERA from July 11 on and that came to camp with the notion that he already had a spot in the rotation. . . . I won’t tolerate it.
Okay, Jim. You brought Carlos to justice for not being happy about getting fired. As someone who will never get fired, I guess we shouldn’t expect you to understand. That’s cool. Now let’s hear what Mike Quade has to say.
Carlos is dead wrong about Mark Riggins. He does not, apparently, need to learn he’s in the big leagues now. Or something. Whatever it was, he’s dead wrong about it. With cuss-word emphasis! I get the need to defend the guys on your coaching staff, but . . . against the dude you just cut from the team? Really? Look at this video and tell me honestly, who in this whole scenario sounds more like Charlie Sheen?
Quade gets my vote. Personally, I’m a fan of how Mark Riggins handled it. You know, the boring, this-won’t-make-headlines way:
“Carlos has his opinion, and I’ll leave it at that. I try to stay positive with everything. It’s water under the bridge. It happens. I understand the emotions that go with things. I’ll make no comment on [whether Silva apologized]. This game gives people a lot of character. Most people in baseball are very successful once they leave the game. And so I wish him the best, and if I can help him in any way, the door’s always open.”
Not burning bridges? Grace? Respect when it’s not necessarily earned? Dignity? Fire Riggins now. He clearly doesn’t fit in.