Tag: Ryan Dempster

Ryan Dempster Wins Sartorial Silliness Award with Audacious Plaid Suit

Wearing a pattern fashioned from my grandma’s throw pillow, Ryan Dempster boarded a plane for St. Louis. 

Really, you don’t need a runway when there is a charter flight to Game 3 of the World Series to utilize. Dressed in the season’s most stunning and fashion-forward suit, Dempster moved the conversation of plaid into baseball’s consciousness where it belongs. 

Here is the Red Sox pitcher/awesome suit wearer, via the club’s Twitter feed

Here is another look from Janet Wu of WHDH-TV 7News in Boston: 

Is that thing made out of flannel? Please tell me it’s made out of flannel. OK, I’ll just assume the entire suit is flannel and move on with my life. 

Now we should take a step back and play Project Runway: The Home Edition. Let’s go ahead and judge how this suit—one we assume comes with a side of pancakes—would fare on the sliding scale below. 

On a scale of flummoxed Tim Gunn: 

(GIF Credit: Giphy)

To rather pleased Tim Gunn: 

(GIF Credit: Giphy)

We give Dempster’s attempt a very concerned Tim Gunn: 

(GIF Credit: projectrunwaygifs.tumblr.com)

This is just par for the course for a guy who has dominated the MLB postseason. No, just kidding. Dempster has pitched three innings in the playoffs, including an inning during garbage time of an eventual 8-1 Red Sox win in Game 1 of the World Series. 

Oh, and he allowed the Sox’s only run in that game. 

Still, he is making his presence known here, and we applaud him for that effort. However, audacious suits don’t always bring tidings of success. 

Be warned, Red Sox fans. We have seen a similar suit this postseason, finding its way onto the Dodgers’ Andre Ethier

Here is a tweet from catcher A.J. Ellis showing off a dapper Ethier wearing a suit that features roughly all the colors in the visible spectrum—as well as a bow tie that would make Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal proud: 

Let’s just hope things work out better for Dempster and the Sox than they did for Ethier and the Dodgers, who found out plaid suits weren’t exactly lucky in St. Louis. 


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5-Game Suspension for Ryan Dempster is Far from Harsh Enough Penalty

If Major League Baseball is trying to send Ryan Dempster a message, it’s not doing a great job.

The Boston Red Sox pitcher hit New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez in the second inning of a game between the bitter rivals on Sunday, resulting in a five-game suspension for Dempster:

In A-Rod’s first at-bat against Dempster this year, he took four inside pitches, with the last one finally hitting him.

The at-bat started off with a pitch behind A-Rod, which clearly sent a message and stirred a rousing ovation from the Boston faithful. Three pitches later, Dempster would plunk Rodriguez on a 3-0 count, resulting in the benches clearing and Yankees manager Joe Girardi being tossed.

Dempster maintained that he simply lost control of the ball in his postgame interview, as he attempted to deflect questions about the at-bat by talking about the game itself:

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, nobody on the Yankees was happy with how Dempster acted.

“Whether you like me or hate, that was wrong. That was unprofessional and silly,” Rodriguez sounded off to reporters. “It was kind of a silly way to get someone hurt on your team as well.”

Girardi also gave his thoughts on the matter, explaining why he was so upset, leading to his ejection.

You can’t start throwing at people. Lives, people have had concussions; lives are changed by getting hit by pitches. …

That baseball is a weapon. It’s not a tennis ball. It’s not an incredi-ball that’s soft. It’s a weapon, and it can do a lot of damage to someone’s life, and that’s why I was so upset about it. You can express your opinion and be upset with someone, but you just can’t start throwing baseballs at people. It’s scary. …

Whether I agree with everything that’s going on, you do not throw at people and you don’t take the law into your own hands. You don’t do that.

Dempster was not tossed from the game, but both sides were issued warnings. The Yankees would go on to win the game, 9-6, behind Rodriguez’s home run off Dempster in the sixth inning that sparked a rally.

Perhaps Bud Selig and Co. actually think this suspension is a punishment for Dempster and the Red Sox, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Dempster got off easily for intentionally hitting a batter, and MLB needs to rethink its strategy when trying to send messages to players.

The first notable blunder that comes with this suspension is that Dempster will still be paid for the games he misses, according to Darren Rovell:

Obviously, protocol dictates that since the incident occurred on the field, Dempster cannot lose his pay for the games he misses. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that the only financial repercussion of his actions is a fine of an undisclosed amount.

Dempster’s exploits aren’t going to put a dent in his pocket, and they didn’t really hurt the team, either.

Usually, a five-game suspension results in a pitcher having to push back his start, which means the replacement in the rotation will likely be an inferior talent to the suspended player. However, this is not the case in this instance.

Because the Red Sox have days off on Thursday (Aug. 22) and Monday (Aug. 26), the team will be able to pitch a four-man rotation until Dempster’s return on Tuesday (Aug. 27).

The key here is that the team has Thursday off, meaning that everyone in the starting rotation has an extra day of rest. In turn, even with Jon Lester pitching on Monday and Jake Peavy going on Tuesday, the two will be able to come back and pitch over the weekend on normal rest.

Dempster was slated to face the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday (Aug. 24), but now the team can move Lester’s start up from Sunday to Saturday, while pitching Peavy on Sunday before Dempster comes back on Tuesday.

To recap, the Red Sox will replace the scheduled start of a guy with a 6-9 record and a 4.77 ERA with two much better pitchers without missing a beat.

Are you telling me that’s considered a punishment? I’d call that a reward.

Despite Dempster’s clear intent of nailing Rodriguez, MLB issued a short suspension and, in the process, did not come down hard enough on him.

Player safety is supposed to be one of the top concerns of all sports organizations, but apparently, intentionally hitting a player with a hard baseball going 92 mph only warrants a minimal suspension.

Dempster and the Red Sox got off easy, and if MLB really wanted to show that it isn’t messing around when it comes to safety, Dempster would be out for at least 10 games.

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Ryan Dempster Suspended 5 Games for Intentionally Throwing at Alex Rodriguez

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Ryan Dempster decided to practice vigilante justice on Sunday night when he threw at New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.


UPDATE: Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 7:22 p.m. ET

Dayton Daily News reporter Hal McCoy quotes Mat Latos in his support for what Dempster did:

“Guys who came up in his era, guys who played against him when he was in Seattle, Texas and now New York — well, there are pitchers (like Dempster) who think a guy cheating like that with steroids, in all honesty, took a lot of money out of those guys pockets,” said Latos. “Is it right what Dempster did? I don’t know. Is it wrong? I don’t think it’s wrong.

“I think there are a lot more pitchers who are going do it,” said Latos. “There is a guy who cheated the system, cheated MLB and was banned for life (Pete Rose). Why isn’t A-Rod banned for life? God only knows how many times he has done it. And there are a lot of guys out there in our game who are pretty p.o.’d about it”

—End of update—


UPDATE: Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 6:19 p.m. ET 

From Providence Journal reporter Brian Macpherson:

—End of update—


He suffered the consequences on Tuesday, though, as Dempster was suspended for five games and fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Baseball, according to Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. 

The incident in question occurred during the second inning of the rubber match between Boston and New York with the Red Sox leading by two.

Dempster threw behind A-Rod’s knees with his first pitch and came inside with two more as he ran the count to 3-0. Dempster then finished the job that he seemingly set out to accomplish from the start of the at-bat, hitting Rodriguez in the elbow.

This resulted in some players from both teams spilling out onto the field, but nothing came of it. The true fireworks occurred when Yankees manager Joe Girardi came flying out of the dugout as home plate umpire Brian O’Nora not only didn’t eject Dempster, but issued warnings to both teams.   

The warning put the Yankees in a difficult spot, as starter CC Sabathia was essentially prevented from retaliating. The Bronx Bombers made the most of the situation, though, as they tied the game in that inning and went on to win by a 9-6 score.

A-Rod got what he called the “ultimate payback,” according to Andrew Marchand and Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com, by smacking a solo home run off Dempster in the sixth inning.

Girardi explained his tirade following the game, and said that he didn’t agree with Dempster trying to “take the law into his own hands,” according to Marchand and Matthews.

You can’t start throwing at people. Lives—people have had concussions. Lives are changed by getting hit by pitches. Whether I agree with everything that’s going on, you do not throw at people and you don’t take the law into your own hands. You don’t do that. We’re going to skip the judicial system? It’s “My Cousin Vinny.”

Girardi pushed for Dempster to be suspended because he believed that letting the pitcher get off scot-free would signal “open season” on Rodriguez, according to Begley.

While Girardi didn’t receive a suspension for his dust-up with O’Nora or for the comments made afterward, he was fined an undisclosed amount, according to the Yankees’ official Twitter account.

According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Dempster’s five-game suspension will be with pay due to the fact that his suspension stems from an on-field act.

Dempster clearly tried to send the message that some don’t necessarily approve of A-Rod being able to play while he appeals his 211-game suspension, which stems from his alleged involvement with a Miami Biogenesis clinic.

Dempster will miss a start for his troubles, though, while Rodriguez and the Yankees desperately try to earn a playoff spot as the season winds down. 


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What Matt Garza’s Healthy Return Would Mean for the Cubs’ Rebuilding Plans

While the Chicago Cubs didn’t head into the 2013 season with the expectation that this would definitely be a rebuilding season, they knew it was at least a reasonable possibility—one that’s looking more likely after an 8-14 start.

The rebuilding process took a big step last season as three of the top four prospects in the organization, according to Baseball Prospectus (Albert Almora—draft, Jorge Soler—international free agent, Arodys Vizcaino—acquired in 2012), were added to the farm system after Theo Epstein took over as president of baseball operations in Chicago.

Along with the team’s first-round pick in 2011, shortstop Javier Baez, the Cubs’ quartet of prospects at the top of the list are quite impressive. In less than a year, the future of the team is already looking much brighter.

The rebuilding plan, as it pertains to the second year under Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer, could revolve around the trade value of starting pitcher Matt Garza and whether they can add another high-caliber prospect to the organization.

The 29 year-old Garza, who will be a free agent after the season, missed most of the second half of 2012 with a stress reaction in his elbow and has been on the disabled list with a strained lat muscle since the start of this season. 

Recently scratched from his first rehab assignment start with what is being described as a “dead arm”, Garza is now set to make his first rehab start on May 1. If he can get back on track and rejoin the Cubs’ rotation in the next three weeks or so—a very realistic timetable if there are no further setbacks—his value should hold strong as interested teams will be able to get at least 12-15 starts to determine if he can help and if he’s worth the Cubs’ asking price.

My guess is that it will cost a team a top-five prospect—the same as what the Braves had to pay for Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson last July when they traded away their third-ranked prospect, Vizcaino, in the deal.

A strong two months from Garza would likely ensure that the Cubs ask for a prospect of the same caliber as Vizcaino.  

By comparison, Ryan Dempster spent two separate stints on the disabled list (strained quad, strained lat) before he was traded to Texas at last year’s deadline,. The 35 year-old pitcher made 16 starts with the Cubs, however, and was able to showcase his health in four starts after returning from the lat injury in early July.

In those 16 starts, Dempster had a 2.25 ERA, 7.0 H/9, 2.3 BB and 7.2 K/9 in 104 innings pitched. Garza’s 18 starts in 2012 resulted in a 3.91 ERA, 7.8 H/9, 2.8 BB/9 and 8.3 K/9 in 103.2 innings pitched.

Considering that age isn’t likely to make a big difference when comparing two-month rentals, the value of Garza and Dempster shouldn’t be much different, but it doesn’t seem that way for some reason.

Maybe it’s Garza’s reputation as someone who has had success in the AL East. Maybe it’s because several contending teams will need pitching help and Garza could top the list of available pitchers.

Whatever the reason, it’s hard to see the Cubs not getting more for Garza than they received from the Rangers did for Dempster in third baseman Christian Villanueva and a fringe pitching prospect. 

As of now, the list of starting pitchers who will likely be available in July is thin. Struggling teams expected to be “sellers” include the Astros, Marlins and Padres. The Mariners and Twins are also likely headed in that direction.

Lucas Harrell, Jason Marquis, Ricky Nolasco, Bud Norris, Mike Pelfrey, Joe Saunders and Edinson Volquez would likely head the list of available starters from that group. Cubs starter Scott Feldman could also be on the list. 

From a contender’s perspective, Garza would be the top pitcher of that group. If other teams with current losing records, including the Angels (Jason Vargas), Blue Jays (Josh Johnson), Indians (Justin Masterson), Phillies (Roy Halladay), Rays (David Price), and White Sox (Gavin Floyd) can’t turn things around, then Garza would have some competition for the “best starter available” at the trading deadline.

Adding another good prospect in a Garza trade will continue to put the Cubs on the right path to have a young and talented squad in 2015. As for 2014, the third year of the Epstein/Hoyer era, things could get ugly in Chicago if they’re not at least a .500 club.

Expect another busy offseason in free agency and possibly a big trade with one of their top prospects utilized as a centerpiece in a deal.

Getting a good return on Garza would make that even more likely.

I recently wrote about the Cubs being a possible fit for Rays starter David Price and the trade package it might take to acquire him.   

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Ryan Dempster Reportedly Rejects $25 Million Offer from Boston Red Sox

Ryan Dempster hasn’t reached an agreement with an MLB team yet this offseason, but it’s not like he hasn’t had his chances. 

According to ESPN, Dempster rejected a two-year deal from the Boston Red Sox on Friday night:

This is pretty shocking considering how old Dempster is and the money that was on the table. The 35-year-old is not going to get many opportunities to be an ace anywhere, meaning it would be wise for him to accept a deal that allowed him to be a prominent starting rotation member.

Between the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers last season, Dempster had a 12-8 record with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. He didn’t blow anyone away, but his ground-ball pitching allowed him to string together pretty solid numbers across the board.

The 14-year veteran has definitely lost a step in terms of ability, but he has experience on his side having pitched for four different ball clubs. That said, the American League East would present a different challenge than Dempster is used to.

The right-hander would have fit in behind Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz in the Red Sox rotation, but now Boston will have to look elsewhere.

According to Chicago Tribune writer Paul Sullivan, the Kansas City Royals and Milwaukee Brewers are also in the mix. With his most recent rejection, both of those teams still have a chance to land Dempster in free agency.

The innings eater must have his reasons for rejecting Boston’s offer. Maybe he likes to throw in the National League, or maybe he wants to be the guy in a lesser rotation.  

Whatever it may be, one thing is clear: Dempster won’t be a middle-of-the-rotation starter in Beantown.

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Ryan Dempster Cubs Rumors: Return to Chicago Is the Perfect Move for Veteran

With the offseason working it’s way into full swing this week, we’re starting to see signs of which teams are seriously considering reshaping their rosters and which will maintain growth from within.

The Chicago Cubs appeared to be one of the biggest buyers of the young offseason on Friday when a trade sending Carlos Marmol to Los Angeles in exchange for Dan Haren was announced, but with that trade falling through, it’s back to the drawing board.

One option noted by Chicago Cubs beat writer Carrie Muskat is the return of Ryan Dempster to Wrigley Field.

The idea may seem odd, given the fact that he was traded away less than six months ago, but in all reality, the move makes more sense than one might think.

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How Protected 2013 1st Round Picks Impact Red Sox, Cubs Free Agent Frenzy

With only one game remaining in the 2012 season, an intriguing aspect of Major League Baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement will come into play for the first time.

In addition to the team(s) who failed to sign their respective first-round draft pick, the bottom nine teams—as determined by overall record—will be awarded a protected first-round draft pick.

So why is a protected draft pick such a big deal? Well, under the new CBA, the first 10 picks in the MLB First-Year Player Draft are all locked, essentially.

Therefore, in an attempt to level the playing field, the bottom nine teams will be able sign the top free agents on the market without sacrificing their first-round draft pick. Rather, any team who ultimately signs a top-ranked free agent will instead part with their second-round pick.

No matter how Wednesday’s games play out, the bottom nine has already been solidified (via MLB Trade Rumors). Of those nine teams—well, 10 including the Pirates who failed to sign Mark Appel—the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox are the two who stand to gain the most from the recently implemented, protected draft pick clause. Both teams are centered in major markets, and despite the midseason cost-cutting trades, they have traditionally boasted high payrolls.

So, both the Cubs (No. 2 overall) and Red Sox (No. 7 overall) are guaranteed to retain their first-round draft picks regardless of any free-agent pursuits this offseason.

Therefore, the Cubs can attempt to land a highly-coveted outfielder like B.J. Upton without surrendering a top draft pick—as they would have been forced to do in previous years.

Similarly, the Red Sox will be free to pursue a frontline starting pitcher, such as James Shields, Zack Greinke or Ryan Dempster.

Essentially, the implementation of protected draft picks will allow more teams to become competitive faster. For large-market franchises like the Cubs and Red Sox, it provides an opportunity to both improve the on-field product without sacrificing the future.

For other bottom nine teams like the Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins and Miami Marlins, it’s another chance to add a highly talented prospect to a rapidly improving farm system.

Either way, it’s a provision that will only make the draft even more exciting than it already is, and, hopefully, promote a competitive balance throughout Major League Baseball.

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Ranking the 10 Most Shocking MLB Trades of 2012

MLB personnel moves are frequently prefaced by fan speculation, media probing or an executive announcement. Somebody usually spoils the surprise.

This article celebrates 10 exceptions to that norm that were completed in 2012.

The players involved ranged from future first-ballot Hall of Famers to lifetime reserves. The reasons for relocation varied, too.

However, they all understand what it’s like to be moved in a shocking trade.

Let’s review their experiences from the past year.

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MLB Trade Deadline 2012: Players Who Will Disappoint in Their New Uniforms

The MLB trade deadline wasn’t uneventful, but it lacked its signature dramatic flair. A handful of teams made moves to benefit their playoff picture, but not all of these will pan out in the end.

Factors have to be considered when picking up a new player. A change of scenery can have a negative, as well as a positive, impact. A new ballpark can impact their productivity, and their new teammates may not lend the same comfort as their previous home did.

Let’s take a look at which players will falter in their new homes for one reason or another.


Shane Victorino

Victorino will flop with the Dodgers for one reason: he isn’t the player he used to be. It’s that simple, but that didn’t stop Los Angeles for rolling the dice.

I can’t say I blame them for picking up “The Flyin’ Hawaiian.” They needed a leadoff hitter, and he fits the bill. At least he did in his prime, but that’s long gone. 

He’s hitting .261 with nine home runs and 41 RBI this season. His on-base percentage is around .320, but that’s just about all he brings to the table. He could fill a role as a table setter, but the change of scenery won’t help him.

Victorino was revered by Philadelphia fans, and that makes a difference. Dodger fans could love him too, but it’s not the same for a player who played his primary years in front of one crowd.

I love the idea behind this acquisition, but the Dodgers won’t get the player they were hoping for.


Ryan Dempster

Dempster’s value was understandable. His 2.25 ERA through 16 starts made him a very intriguing option at this year’s deadline, but his numbers will inflate in hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark.

Texas’ acquisition of Dempster wasn’t misguided. Their minuscule lead in the AL West can be erased quickly, and contending teams can never have too many arms. Dempster will provide a veteran presence, but Ranger fans shouldn’t expect his ERA to remain the same. 

Dempster faces larger expectations in Texas. That, plus the change in venues, will increase his ERA. He doesn’t have dominant stuff, and he won’t get away with the same pitches in the hitter-heavy American League.

This pickup looks good on paper, but Texas will be disappointed sooner rather than later.


Brad Lincoln

Lincoln isn’t a noteworthy name. You may have already forgotten about this deal.

Either way, this is worth paying attention too. Toronto gave up on once-prized outfielder Travis Snider in exchange for starter-turned-reliever Lincoln. In 28 games this year (five starts) Lincoln is 4-2 with a 2.73 ERA. He’s got 60 strikeouts in 59.1 innings, and he’s actually done a very solid job in his new role. 

That was in the NL Central. Toronto plays in the AL East. It’s a completely different world, and it’s littered with hungry power hitters. It will take Lincoln awhile to adjust, and by then it will be too late.

He’s probably going to work as a setup man, or potentially as a closer down the line. He hasn’t proven himself in either role, and this rigorous division isn’t the place to do that.

This was a bit of a head-scratcher for me. Snider has been disappointing, but relievers like Lincoln are a dime a dozen. 

Toronto may not regret losing Snider, but they will wonder why they ever asked for Lincoln.

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5 Reasons the Ryan Dempster Trade Will Be a Bust for the Rangers

Just before the 4:00 non-waiver trade deadline, the Texas Rangers made their biggest move by acquiring Ryan Dempster from the Cubs for two minor leaguers.

The move came after the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim traded for Zack Greinke over the weekend and after learning that Neftali Feliz will have Tommy John surgery.

The cost wasn’t high; the Rangers only gave up a minor league third baseman blocked in the system by Adrian Beltre and Mike Olt and an organizational pitcher who isn’t much of a prospect.

Dempster has good numbers this year, and the Rangers needed a No. 1 or No. 2 starting pitcher, but Dempster was not the answer. Here are five reasons why.

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