Unless you've been living in a cave since, well, yesterday, you know by now that the Cubs chose(and quite wisely in my opinion) Mike Quade to be their new manager.

Here's some great links about the hiring:

The Cubs' hiring of Mike Quade instead of a fan favorite was the right move (ESPN Chicago)

As expected, Cubs players happy to see Mike Quade named manager (Bleacher Nation)

Cubs pick Quade to be fired after 2012 (Tales From Aisle 424)

Quade impressed Cubs with changes (ESPN Chicago)

They're Quade's Cubbies (Chicago Sun-Times)

Quade a good fit as Cubs manager
(Chicago Tribune)

Open your mind to Quade
(Hire Jim Essian)

Mike Quade: A baseball odyssey (Bleed Cubbie Blue)

Was there really any other choice? (Cubbie Doctor's Examiner)

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Will Carroll is hearing that Mike Quade will be named Cubs manager, and Ryne Sandberg will be named bench coach:

@injuryexpert: Hearing that Mike Quade will be named Cubs manager, with Ryne Sandberg as bench coach. Could happen as soon as next week.
Link(Will Carroll's Twitter)

Carroll also told me...

It's a good source and think a couple people in media are going to back me up soon.
If this news is indeed true, I really like it. Quade's earned the job after going 24-13 with a horrible baseball team. He arranged lineups about as well as you could hope for out of a manager, really taking splits and things like on-base percentage into account. For example, leading off Jeff Baker against lefties was something I wanted all year, yet Lou would never do it. Quade did, and sure enough it worked wonderfully.

He used the bullpen exceptionally well(particularly with rookie Andrew Cashner as the setup man), and the group was arguably better than any other bullpen in baseball under him.

But what was maybe more important than anything is that he had the players' backing. Here's a couple examples of that from a couple of very well-respected veterans:

"He's done a great job, and I hope he's here longer than just this year and managing for us next year,'' Ryan Dempster told the Chicago Sun-Times. "Because he deserves it.''

Dempster isn't alone, as Marlon Byrd feels much the same way.

"The record speaks for itself," said Byrd. "The way we're playing, the way we're executing -- just all around, the moves he's making. He shows he has the qualifications and he can get a team to play for him.''

Byrd also went on to say he'd "definitely" welcome Quade back as the team's manager next season, though he knows it's not his decision to make.

Aramis Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano... pretty much every veteran on the team has spoken highly of Quade. When respected major league veterans are raving about how a guy did as manager, their opinions should be considered by upper management. If the Cubs went with Sandberg and the team played terribly after they were backing Quade for the job, that could be a clubhouse disaster.

None of this is to say that Sandberg doesn't deserve the job as well. He's done a terrific job as a minor league manager, and like Quade, has been loved by his players. He's a Hall of Famer and is absolutely adored by Cubs fans. If not for Quade doing an amazing job with the big league club this year, Sandberg surely would've been the choice. Making him the bench coach leaves open the possibility that still happens down the road. Hey, Quade was the Cubs' bench coach before becoming the "interim" manager.

Stay tuned for more on this story.

UPDATE: Carroll is now hearing from another source that the Quade manager/Sandberg bench coach stuff is not true:

@injuryexpert: Just talked to a guy who's VERY wired into Cubs. Says I'm wrong, esp. on timing. We'll see, but he's seldom wrong.

So who knows...

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Carlos Zambrano just had one of the weirdest seasons in baseball history: He pitched horribly in the first half of the season as a starter; absolutely blew up on teammate(at the time) Derrek Lee in the dugout during a game; was suspended for over a month; was moved to the bullpen; sucked in the bullpen; was moved back to the rotation to be a starter; dominated as a starter; finished with an 11-6 record and a 3.33 ERA(his best ERA since 2005).

Now, here we are just one day after the Cubs' season ended, and Zambrano's already having one of the weirdest offseasons in baseball history. According to David Kaplan, Zambrano hit a garbage truck with his car while trying to leave Wrigley Field this morning:

Eyewitnesses tell me that Carlos Zambrano damaged his car hitting a garbage truck in his haste to exit Wrigley Field this morning....

The accident was not serious but his car reportedly sustained some significant damage.
Link(David Kaplan's Twitter)

You can laugh because he's apparently okay, and because you don't care about his car(like he doesn't have 40 anyway). Seriously though, if you didn't already know which major league player was involved in the accident, wouldn't Zambrano be one of your first five guesses?

What a crazy beginning to what is sure to be a crazy offseason for the Cubs.

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