Ryan Dempster: Give Mike Quade the Cubs job

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A few weeks ago, A Guy I Talked to Who Knows Stuff said that the Cubs players are big, big Mike Quade fans and wanted him to get the job. It was pretty obvious, however, that the players were going to keep quiet about it and let Jim Hendry and Tom Ricketts do their job because, ultimately, it’s their call.  Ryan Dempster decided last night that keeping mum is no fun:

Dempster, who notched his 15th win with seven strong innings, became the first Cubs player to outwardly endorse Quade for the job in 2011.

“He’s
been very upfront, very honest with all of us,” Dempster said. “He’s
been tremendously supportive, he’s given us a lot of confidence to go
out there. What he’s done for the bullpen- those guys have really
stepped up and he’s believed in them.

“He’s
done a great job and I hope that he’s here longer than just this year. I
hope he’s managing for us next year because he deserves it. He’s done
everything they’ve asked, and everyone in here really likes him.”

If the Cubs make Mike Quade the manager over Ryne Sandberg, there will be a lot of bummed fans. But those will be fans who haven’t been paying attention to the fact that the Cubs have played good baseball for Quade. And ultimately, making a managerial choice based on fan sentiment — especially casual fan sentiment — is madness.

The players like him and want him to stay. He’s done a fine job. The smart play, it seems, would be to give Mike Quade the gig full time.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

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Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.

Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.

The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.

Bryce Harper sets April record for runs scored

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With four runs scored during Sunday’s 23-5 drubbing of the Mets, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper set a new April record for runs scored at 32, MLB.com’s Oliver Macklin reports. The record was previously held by Larry Walker, who scored 29 runs for the Rockies in April 1997.

Harper finished 2-for-4 with a pair of walks and a solo home run (off of Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki) on the afternoon. He’s now hitting .391/.509/.772 with nine home runs and 26 RBI on the year.