Ryan Dempster is one of baseball’s good guys and his presence played an important role in last season’s Red Sox World Championship season. While Dempster wasn’t outstanding on the mound, his veteran presence and sense of humor played an important part in GM Ben Cherington‘s and Manager John Farrell‘s 2013 chemistry lab.
But Dempster has decided to take this season (and probably this career) off. Unexpectedly, on Sunday, at a news conference at Sox camp in Fort Myers, Fla., Dempster described physical problems with his neck as one reason for his decision. But clearly the primary reason for Dempster, was so that he could spend more time with his children, one of whom has a rare disorder.
For the Red Sox staff, Dempster was most likely the sixth wheel of a rotation that consists of Jon Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, Jake Peavy, and Felix Doubront (as well as a bevy of youngsters ready, and almost ready, to find a regular slot). But Dempster will perhaps be contributing to the Sox in a fashion that far exceeds that of many of the players on the active roster. Dempster opted not to go on the Disabled List , which he could have, but making this announcement he goes on the Restricted List and is walking away from the $13.25 million left from the second-year of the two-year contract he signed before last season.
“I’ve been really fortunate, extremely lucky, extremely humbled by the amount of money I have made that has provided for me and my family for years and years. The money was not that difficult a decision,” Dempster told the press.
The money saved will give the Sox about $20 million all told to make a mid-season acquisition, something they very well may need in their attempt to go back-to-back.
The baseball gods are crazy
Before emotion overtook Dempster at his press conference, as he looked at all the teammates who had gathered to offer him support, Dempster joked about telling manager John Farrell he’d have to find another Opening Day starter. He also said that his career had not been great, just long.
Dempster was right.
He’s a 16-year veteran righty, whose 2013 season of 8-9 with a 4.57 ERA, 1.45 WHIP and 157 strikeouts in 171.1 IP was a reflection of his career. If Dempster is done, he finishes with a record of 132-133 (and 87 saves) with a 4.35 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 2075 strikeouts in 2387 innings.
He’s a good guy who does a great impression of Will Ferrell doing Harry Caray, who is doing more than one decent thing in this decision, so I ask you this question…
Would it have killed the baseball gods to let him finish with a .500 record?
The almost .500 club
Minimum 125 starts
Nobody won more games than Ryan Dempster and George Mogridge and finished just one game under .500.
|5||Johnny Vander Meer||119||121||.496||1937||1951||2||3.44||CIN-CHC-CLE|
|14||Blue Moon Odom||84||85||.497||1964||1976||1||3.70||KCA-OAK-TOT-CHW|