As much as Mike Quade knew it could be coming, it still hit hard enough to send him to one of his quiet spots on the water for a couple of hours Wednesday after being told he was out as the Cubs' manager.
``I've run the gamut of emotion,'' said Quade, who was told in person by team president Theo Epstein. ``Disappointed, upset, irritated, bitter - a little bit of everything. But it comes with the turf. It hadn't come with the turf at this level ever with me. But it's part of the deal.''
In his first big-league managing job, Quade went 95-104 in one full season plus six weeks at the end of 2010. His Cubs finished in fifth place in the National League Central this season with a 71-91 record.
Quade, who hopes to manage again but plans to spend at least the next week or two away from all things baseball, said he was impressed with the way Epstein handled the process.
The met for more than six hours in Chicago Thursday, and after making the decision Esptein flew to Florida on Wednesday to tell Quade personally.
``This is a first-class guy, and I appreciated it,'' Quade said. ``It doesn't mean I'm thrilled with the decision. But at least there's a part of me that understands a little bit and appreciates the way it was done.''
Whether he got a fair shake, given the flaws and lack of depth on a team that lost two starting pitchers to injury the first week of the season, Quade said, ``Nobody promised fair. That's life in baseball - in a lot of things.
``I'm not leaving here with my head down,'' he added. ``I think it was a tough situation that we handled about as well as we could. ... It's part of the deal. We're all accountable. ...
``Given the situation, I'm not unhappy with the way I handled myself or the way the club handled itself.''
Quade, who has a year left on his contract, said where he goes next might be more a matter of ``what presents itself'' than the second shot at big-league managing he'd like to get.
``It's something that I enjoyed doing and something that I would like to do again, but I presume nothing,'' he said. ``I understand who I am. If you're Tony LaRussa, if you're somebody with clout and years under your belt and successes, that's a natural transition. I would love that opportunity to manage gain, but I think you're foolish if you get an opportunity like I did and things don't work out, and you immediately assume I'm on someone's short list.
``The most important thing right now to me is I get away from this for a week and figure out what's available, what am I doing, and who can I talk to about helping their organization in whatever capacity.''