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Cubs players voicing support for Quade
By Bruce Miles | Daily Herald Staff

Cubs manager Mike Quade talks during batting practice before his first game.


Associated Press

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Published: 9/30/2010 12:00 AM

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There seems to be a groundswell of support growing, at least among players, for new Cubs manager Mike Quade.

A couple of key veterans spoke up in support of Quade after the Cubs took the first two games of the series against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

The Cubs and starting pitcher Randy Wells fell behind the Padres 3-0 after six innings Wednesday night.

"He's done a great job," pitcher Ryan Dempster told reporters. "He's been very upfront and very honest with all of us, and he's been tremendously supportive. ... I hope he's here longer than this year. I hope he's managing for us next year because he deserves it."

Marlon Byrd also endorsed Quade in another report.

It all had Quade feeling pretty good about things even though he's not assured of keeping the job.

"As long as my relationship with (the players) is good, and I think it is, then I stick to that and do what I have to do," he told reporters Wednesday. "To get support from people is better than to not get support. I'm glad they're happy with the way we're doing things and the way things are going. Hopefully, they'll be productive and happy for the next five days."

It couldn't have hurt that the Cubs were 21-11 under Quade entering Wednesday.

"If we hadn't been winning during this time, who knows what the comments would've been," Quade said. "No matter what the situation, winning baseball games takes care of a lot of stuff. Things are never perfect, even when you're winning, but it does make for a lot better environment."

Wells entered his final start of the season 8-13 with a 4.28 ERA. However, he was coming off 2 straight victories, during which he had given up 1 run.

"He's coming of age, if you will," Quade said on the WGN radio pregame show. "I saw him as a young guy who was converting from catching to pitching, which is an unusual conversion, and was doing it well, but was feeling his way. He is far from a finished product but a much better product and a much more experienced product."

Wells gave up an RBI single to Chase Headley in the second. A Wells wild pitch scored another run in the fourth, and David Eckstein hit a run-scoring double in the fifth.

Padres starter Chris Young got help from a pair of leaping catches by center fielder Will Venable, who robbed Alfonso Soriano in the second and Marlon Byrd in the third.