Wrigleyville is notoriously difficult for drivers looking to park, especially when the Cubs are in town. Tight parking restrictions have turned anyone with even the tiniest vacant pavement into a game-day entrepreneur. Parking spots fetch upwards of $20 even a mile from the ballpark. Yet Cubs players and management have long been exempt from this hassle. They park in a special lot just west of the stadium. All of them, that is, except manager Mike Quade.
“Yeah, they said they couldn’t help me out today,” Quade reported after being rebuffed at the parking lot before Thursday’s game against Atlanta. “So from now on I’m taking the train, just like some homeless guy.”
“Effective immediately, we are trying something new,” Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts told reporters when asked about Quade’s commute. “For years we’ve pampered our managers: prime parking, free uniforms, toothpicks, gum, all that good stuff. Where’s it gotten us? It’s time we sent a different signal: You want perks? Let’s see that ‘W’ flag over the scoreboard.”
As part of a new performance-based compensation packet, Quade will only be allocated a parking space if the Cubs play at least .500 ball.
“We’ll evaluate the results after each homestand,” Ricketts continued. “If his team is winning, he gets a parking space for the next series. Below .500? He’ll need a fare card.”
For now, Quade is playing down ownership’s “tough-love” approach to parking.
“It’s no big deal,” the Cubs skipper claimed. “What, with the price of gas, and all, it’s not too bad. You get used to smell.”