Cubs still respect Mike Quade
Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade has experienced some rough stretches in his first full season as a major league manager, both with a team that entered Monday 20 games under .500 and with certain player controversies, but Ryan Dempster said Monday that Quade still is respected in the clubhouse.
"Yeah, absolutely [he's still respected]," Dempster said Monday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "Absolutely."
It was Dempster's dugout argument with Quade on July 9 in Pittsburgh that sparked some debate as to whether the players still respect the longtime minor league manager. Quade replaced Lou Piniella on an interim basis in August 2010 and became the full-time skipper this season.
Quade had pulled Dempster, who had missed his previous start with a variety of ailments, after he threw 87 pitches in five innings. Dempster argued on the dugout steps and then threw some things before exiting to the clubhouse.
"Water under the bridge," Dempster said. "I'm sorry it happened in the dugout. I don't like doing that kind of stuff.
"I just wanted to stay in the game, that's all. I felt for the bullpen, they pitched a lot because the starters weren't going deep in games and I just really wanted to help them out. That was more of my motivation than anything personal. I said the day before on the way back from the game, I said, 'Don't worry, I got you guys.' I didn't mean I got you guys for five innings. That's all."
Dempster said he understood Quade's motivation.
"At the end of the day he's the manager, right? He's my boss," Dempster said. "I just really wanted to stay the in the game, that's all. And he understands that, and I understand that. And that's why I respect him, and I'm a big fan of his and we'll push through that."
Quade also has had to deal with starter Carlos Zambrano publicly criticizing closer Carlos Marmol, who -- at least temporarily -- has lost his role. Quade has joked about losing sleep this season, and his frustration boiled over on Sunday as he criticized the umpiring during the weekend series against the Florida Marlins.
But Dempster has not seen any sense of surrender in Quade.
"I think he does a very good job of showing what he needs to show as far as going out there and playing hard," Dempster said, "and he expects us to play the game hard and play the right way and wants us to go out there and execute the best we can, and if we do that, we're going to win more games."
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Dempster said the Cubs have not fallen victim to the mindset of expecting things to collapse at the first hint of adversity.
"I don't think that we think that as a team, but I think that you can feel it, when you're winning the game 3-0 and all of a sudden it's 3-1 and then it's 3-2, and you can sense the feeling of ... everybody feels that way, that's an honest answer," he said. "But you have to find a way and teach yourself or believe in, 'You know what, no, it's not going to happen. We're going to keep pushing through this, and we're going to go out and make it 6-2, instead of making it 3-3. We're going to continue to push through this, because we're better than this, we're just not playing better than this.' You can talk about it all you want. You can rant and rave and say, 'We're better than this and we're a better team than this,' but we're 20 games under .500, so we're not. The only way to change that is to win games."
As far as Marmol, Dempster -- who is a former closer -- remembers the pressure of the position.
"I can feel those feelings that he's gone through," he said. "You're going out to your car in your parking lot, and people are telling you to move back to Canada. True story.
"What's probably been the best thing for him, two things, one is that Sean Marshall came in and picked him up. That's a nice feeling. As the closer you're the guy that's relied on to go in there and pick everybody else up, go in there and close the game and finish it. So when you have someone come in there behind you and get the save like that, it makes you feel better about a bad day. And also just getting a day when you get away and not think about baseball and clear your mind."