Mike Quade: Right now I'm spending a lot of time with the outfielders. When it comes to me, I'm here to be of any assistance to Dusty and his staff like all of us. I'm also working with coaches who know the young kids more than the veterans.
Inside The Ivy: What is the overall mood in the clubhouse as the team gets set for 2005?
Mike Quade: You just cruise through it, but it seems good to me. Thanks to Dusty and Jim [Hendry], I've gotten to know a lot of these guys. Everyone seems very upbeat! Knock on wood, the injury list I'm hearing every morning in our meetings is very small compared to last season. Physically, I don't think you can start camp in better shape. I think everyone is excited and I know Dusty is.
Inside The Ivy: You're around Dusty quite a bit obviously. What are some of his thoughts so far?
Mike Quade: He's always upbeat. Obviously, Spring Training is a time for great thoughts and believing in the best to begin with, so he always comes into camp with unbelievable enthusiasm—you can just feel it. It's a new year for everyone and we're all excited.
Inside The Ivy: Are things any different this spring without Sammy Sosa's presence in the clubhouse?
Mike Quade: Not that I can tell. Not being close enough to Sammy and all of whatever took place last year, I'm probably not as qualified to answer. There are some young guys here and some veterans as well, and it seems you just get accustomed to everything. I think everyone figures that it's a new year, that it's a business, that people come and go, and that you have to take it as it is. It's too early to tell, but I can't really notice.
Inside The Ivy: How are some of the players you managed from last season doing so far in spirit and overall progress?
Mike Quade: Any young player in a Major League camp is always in great spirits. If any young player in Spring Training isn't in good spirits, he has problems. (Laughs) You never know; anything can happen. The Jason Dubois', etc. are all good kids and obviously excited about the opportunity to come to camp.
Inside The Ivy: Have you met any of the players you'll likely manage this season?
Mike Quade: You know, I try to put that on hold for now. Anyone with a uniform in camp has a shot.
Inside The Ivy: There has been a good amount of rain in the Mesa area this month. What adjustments were the players required to make?
Mike Quade: Well, with the facilities throughout the league and especially here in Mesa, we have so many indoor cages and covered ground that you're going to get some work done. Defense was limited obviously, but luckily the weather has improved lately. It's a part of the deal, but you can get some form of work done every day. I think you probably feel a lot better having rain early in camp rather than later on when you're trying to keep pitchers on schedule and set for opening day. It's not the way you want to start off, but everyone was able to get around pretty well from what I could tell.