Ryan Dempster is a competitor. Like any true pitcher, he aspires to finish games he starts and he is upset when he’s pulled from games before he feels he’s done.
Naturally, when Cubs manager Mike Quade decided to lift him for a pinch hitter after just five innings of work Saturday, Dempster did not respond too well.
Dempster let Quade hear about being pulled and pleaded his case to remain in the game. He got so upset he smacked the cooler in the dugout, though he didn’t go full-on Brian Wilson.
Dempster missed his previous start because of a bad back and had already thrown 87 pitches through five innings, so it’s understandable why Quade felt it was a good time to make a change. It’s also understandable why Dempster was ticked. He brushed the incident aside after the game, saying he was fine because they won. Quade was more measured with his response.
He said about the incident “If it’s happening because a guy’s a competitor and he’s pissed off or whatever — even if it’s with my decision — I’m OK with that. He’s earned that right as much as anybody, from a veteran’s standpoint. If a young kid does that, we might have a little different [situation].’’
If it’s an issue of respect for the manager that’s one thing, but where I come from, if the pitcher doesn’t want the ball, there’s something wrong with him.