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Monday, June 13, 2011
Jim Hendry defends Mike Quade

By Sahadev Sharma
Special to ESPNChicago.com

With the Chicago Cubs in freefall after a dreadful 2-8 road trip, fans and the media have begun to wonder if Mike Quade's days as manager may be nearing an end. General manager Jim Hendry addressed the rumors and defended the job his manager is doing.

"Obviously (Quade) didn't flip a light switch from last year to the beginning of this season and start managing differently or handling people differently," Hendry said. "We didn't play very well out of the gate, usually you can correct some of that."

Quade was named full-time manager last October after serving as interim manager when Lou Piniella resigned in August of 2010.

Hendry noted that injuries have hit the team hard, but did admit that even when the team was healthy, they played below his expectations. With reliever Kerry Wood headed to the disabled list on Monday, the Cubs have had nine players from the Opening Day roster spend time on the shelf. However, Hendry refused to put any blame on Quade.

"(The injuries are) unfortunate, but I certainly wouldn't dump any of that on Mike Quade," Hendry said. "He's certainly going to do a fine job here."

Hendry also said he has no problems hearing about rumors that his job may be on the line as well. The hard part for him is the losing and hearing his job status being questioned is nothing he can't handle.

"I expected us to win at a higher level than three division championships even the first six years when it was going a lot better, I expected more out myself then," Hendry said. "This is professional baseball in a big market, with a great fan base. We should have done better the last year and half, that comes with the territory and that is my responsibility."

The Cubs are 26-39 on the season and sit 11 games back of the first place Milwaukee Brewers. The Cubs started a four game set with the Brewers on Monday night, winning 1-0.

Hendry has been general manager for the Cubs since July of 2002. Both Hendry and Quade have contracts that run through the 2012 season.

Sahadev Sharma is a regular contributor to ESPNChicago.com.