MESA, Ariz. – Cubs manager Mike Quade is OK with shakings things up a bit — as long as his team gets better.
Quade held a team meeting before practice early Thursday to address the dugout fight Wednesday between pitcher Carlos Silva and third baseman Aramis Ramirez.
Quade said the matter has "been put to bed."
"You look it right in the eye," he said. "Sometimes a little revolt's not bad. I'm glad people were (upset). But we need to channel that anger at the opposition and within ourselves. And that's all."
The scuffle was only one reason for the meeting, during which Quade said he was the only one who spoke. He pointed to the team's 14 errors and other mental lapses during the first four games of spring training.
"That little blowup notwithstanding, it was time for me — Day 4 or not — to say something about sloppiness and not just the physical errors but the mental errors, too," Quade said. "These are things we all know we need to overcome. And I don't think you waltz through spring and then expect to magically turn it on and be a sharp club when the season starts."
Quade, the Cubs' third base coach who was given a two-year deal last year to replace Lou Piniella, is trying to turn around a team that finished last season at 75-87, in next-to-last place in the NL Central.
Quade managed more than 2,300 minor league games in the Montreal, Philadelphia, Oakland and Cubs farm systems before arriving in Chicago. He admitted that the Silva-Ramirez dustup was his first major challenge as a first-year, big-league manager.
The trouble erupted when a frustrated Silva groused about the fielding behind him as he came off the field following a three-error, two-homer, six-run first inning against Milwaukee. Ramirez, who dropped a pop fly in the inning, had to be separated from Silva by teammates and coaches.
Ramirez later called it a "misunderstanding" and said he'd moved on. Silva declined to talk to reporters Wednesday and again Thursday morning.
Quade said he didn't talk two players separately from the team because he trusted them to resolve their own issues.
"I don't need to see a handshake," he said. "They need to go about their business. They need to get along as teammates the best they can, and put this behind them. Whether it's an acknowledgment, whether it's a conversation, whether it's a handshake, I count on them to get that done."
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