Mike Quade’s decision to name Ryan Dempster the Opening Day starter was an easy one. Dempster has both the talent and mental toughness it takes to be the stopper. Had it not been for the Cubs’ decision to coddle Carlos Zambrano’s fragile mentality, Dempster would have been the Opening Day starter three years ago. You know it, I know it, and Quade certainly knew it standing down the third base line.
What’s important is Quade’s choice is fair and well-informed. Dempster is the best candidate, he’s earned the honor and Quade handed him the job. Such practice is sure to boost the confidence in the clubhouse. No longer are the Cubs catering to Big Z, his huge contract and poor attitude. Just another sign there’s a new sheriff in town.
Presumably, the same strategy will apply throughout the locker room. And perhaps, this will raise a few eyebrows on certain players such as Fukudome and Soriano who have lacked in production but play because their contracts say so. Under Quade, at least it appears, the best man gets the gig. Wouldn’t we all agree, it’s about time.