CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade was sorry to hear that special assistant to the general manager Gary Hughes had resigned his position from the team. Quade and Hughes worked together when they were with the Montreal Expos organization in the late '80s.
"I know his relationship with [former Cubs GM] Jim [Hendry] and how close they were," Quade said. "I'll be anxious to talk to him and to see how he is doing."
Quade was a coach in the Expos system when Hughes was the scouting director.
"He was a real influential guy with me," Quade said. "He was an advisor to me, friend, all that. I'm always amazed at the three great drafts in a row that he had in Montreal (players such as Delino DeShields, Carlos Perez, Ugueth Urbina, Marquis Grissom, Mark Grudzielanek were brought into the system in the late '80s). That vaulted that organization into prominence."
Hughes' resignation is effective Oct. 31. He said Tuesday he would like to continue for a 45th year of baseball.
Quade has set his rotation for the rest of the season. Randy Wells pitched Tuesday followed by Matt Garza on Wednesday. After an off day, Ryan Dempster opens a three-game series in St. Louis against the Cardinals on Friday with Rodrigo Lopez on Saturday and Wells on Sunday. Garza opens the final series of the season on Monday in San Diego followed by Casey Coleman on Tuesday and Dempster in Wednesday's season finale as he attempts to reach 200 innings pitched for the fourth straight season. He enters Friday with 190 2/3 innings.
The Cubs are experimenting with a new marketing plan allowing 15 "premier" fans to experience batting practice on the field. During batting practice, fans stand in a roped-off section in right field on the warning track. Fans have gloves and are encouraged to catch balls that come into the 30-foot area. Similar plans have been used as a perk by the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cubs have several security people who stand in front of the group to protect them from extremely hard hit balls. The plan is being used only during the Milwaukee series and will be re-evaluated for use in 2012.
Starlin Castro is four hits shy of the 200-hit mark. The 21-year-old shortstop will become the 16th player in Cubs history to reach the 200-hit mark, and the youngest in team history.
Hendry was a visitor to the team during batting practice on Tuesday. He has been back out to Wrigley one other time since being relieved of his duties, visiting Cincinnati Reds GM Walt Jocketty. On Tuesday, Hendry was the guest of interim GM Randy Bush. Hendry will be paid by the Cubs for his contract through December 2012.