If a pitcher blows up on the Chicago Cubs, his name is usually Carlos Zambrano. However, last night, Zambrano was left watching from the dugout as another pitcher had a heated conversation with manager Mike Quade.
Ryan Dempster was making his first start last night since missing his previous start. Dempster went 5 innings last night giving up 3 runs on 7 hits while throwing 87 pitches. Though, the fireworks came as Dempster was leaving the game. As Joe noted in his game recap last night, Dempster was spotted in the dugout arguing with manager Mike Quade about the decision to pull him from the game. This was as upset as I have seen Dempster this season, who was very animated with Quade in the dugout before heading towards the clubhouse. Normally, this is a non-story. This happens countless times during a season. The only difference is the two were caught on camera. Props to WGN-TV for getting the shots of the two arguing. Afterwards, it seemed as if both Quade and Dempster had no problem with the argument.
"“He battled through five and came out with a win,” Quade said, “but I don’t think he was very happy coming out. But he never is, really. Fortunately, the bullpen did a good job.”Quade said the blowup by Dempster happens all the time, not in front of cameras or the media. “That’s what [Carlos Zambrano] does, but Demps was a little more forceful trying to convince me. I thought it was time [to take him out], he obviously disagreed. The volume was different. Z’s been pretty good from time to time. But yeah, he was adamant and fiery, and I like that. ESPN CHICAGO"
Interesting enough, Quade admitted that this is not the first time that Dempster has been upset with the Cubs manager. Even going as far as to say that the latest one was more forceful than what Zambrano usually does. Those comments do not sit right with me. It seemed as if Quade was taking a shot at Dempster by comparing him to Zambrano, and saying that this is not the first time that Dempster has blown up. Either way, Quade was not wrong by his decision to take Dempster out of the game. Dempster was ineffective for most of the game, and having this been his first start since missing his previous one, Quade made the right move by taking Dempster out of the game.
Dempster, meanwhile, offered this explanation after the game.
"“I think it’s just because the cameras are there [that it’s a story],” Dempster said. “I think guys used to do that all the time.“The bullpen pitched so much [recently], I thought I could do a better job of throwing less pitches. I wanted to get deeper in the game. That was more of my concern than personally being out there.” ESPN CHICAGO"
As Dempster alluded to, this is usually a non-story. The only reason this making headlines is because the argument was caught by the cameras making it visible to the public. Other than the fact that Dempster made his anger with Quade visible to the public, I do not take issue with the Cubs’ starter being upset that he was pulled from the game. I would much rather have a starting pitcher that never wants to leave a game, over a pitcher who is looking forward to leaving a game.
There should not be a carry-over affect resulting from the Dempster/Quade confrontation. Some reports have suggested this shows that Quade has lost the team or this makes Ryan Dempster more likely to be traded, but, I do not think that is the case. The Cubs have stood by Zamrano throughout all his tirades, so Dempster should be no different. Nonetheless, you have to wonder whether or not Dempster is regretting being the first player to support Quade last season, when the Cubs were looking for a full-time manager.