Tag:Ryan Dempster
Posted on: December 8, 2008 4:18 pm
 

Towers: Peavy talks won't go past Christmas

LAS VEGAS -- San Diego general manager Kevin Towers described the Jake Peavy trade talks with the Chicago Cubs as "ongoing" during a discussion with several reporters Monday morning, then added a twist: If the Padres don't complete a Peavy deal by Christmas, they'll keep him.

"If we haven't made progress on a deal ... I don't want to go through the holidays with tons of holes and a guy who we don’t' know if we're going to move," Towers said.

As of now, the GM reiterated, he's speaking with exactly one club: The Chicago Cubs.

And in a development that should continue to keep these talks alive, GM Jim Hendry confirmed Monday that the Cubs are not a part of the bankruptcy filed by their current owner, the Tribune Co.

"All I know is I was told over the weekend that the Cubs are completely separate," Hendry said. "We're not worried. With new ownership in the next couple of (months), there have been no restrictions placed on me."

The Cubs are hoping to add a left-handed hitter, probably an outfielder, and also continue talking with the Padres regarding Peavy. They've already re-signed Ryan Dempster this winter, giving them a rotation of Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly, Rich Harden and, for now, Jason Marquis.

A third team likely will have to be included if Peavy is to head to the Cubs. Baltimore has been involved in those discussions.

Towers said he and Hendry have talked casually since arriving at the winter meetings and have "no major sitdown (planned) as of yet."

"I know where to find him," Towers said. "And he knows where to find me. He has a couple of things he's working on. Our focus is Peavy."

For this week and next, at least. And if no deal is completed by then, Towers said, the Padres likely will announce that they will keep Peavy.

"I don't think it's fair to our fans or to our ballclub to drag this thing out for the next couple of months," Towers said.

 

Posted on: November 18, 2008 4:44 pm
 

Cubbies on the move

The Cubs didn't necessarily guarantee themselves a World Series win by re-signing Ryan Dempster on Tuesday. Depressing truth on Chicago's North Side, of course, is that the move probably didn't even guarantee them one playoff win.

But it's important to remember that, before the fall, this is a team that won 97 games last year and, as general manager Jim Hendry swings to get better this winter, bringing Dempster back so swiftly was a key move.

It frees up Hendry to set out for new business, and not worry about the old.

"A week before Thanksgiving, pitching-wise, we're in good shape compared to a lot of teams in the industry," Hendry said Tuesday afternoon.

Don't underestimate the Cubs getting pole position in the winter race to set 2009 rosters thanks to the ultra-aggressive Hendry.

Think Atlanta, which needs two starting pitchers, failed to trade for Jake Peavy and was spurned in negotiations with Dempster, isn't envious right about now?

The Yankees, who made a monstrous offer to CC Sabathia and are also chasing A.J. Burnett, Derek Lowe and every other starting pitcher in Free Agent-land?

The Cubs' rotation is at least four-fifths set now with Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Rich Harden and Ted Lilly. Chicago's rotation led the National League in ERA (3.75) and winning percentage (.633) in 2008, and the winning part wasn't even close.

In going 69-40, the Cubs' starters far outdistanced St. Louis' rotation (second in the NL with a .587 winning percentage, 64-45).

Now, things change, and none of this guarantees cake and ice cream in 2009. But as far as starting points, the Cubs are far ahead of most of the rest of the industry.

There is still plenty Hendry would like to do. The Cubs' never-ending quest to add a significant left-handed batter remains a high priority. Adding even more depth to the rotation would be helpful, too. The Cubs have had several conversations with San Diego about Peavy this winter, and free agent left-hander Randy Johnson sure would be a nice fit in the rotation's No. 5 slot.

Dempster, 31, was 17-6 with a 2.96 ERA for the Cubs in '08.

"It's huge for us," Hendry said. "It was such a priority. Ryan did a terrific job. He had a phenomenal season. He's as good a clubhouse guy and teammate as we've ever had here."

Hendry, who acquired Kevin Gregg from Florida last week to help strengthen the bullpen, plans to meet with assistant Randy Bush and the rest of his brain trust again on Wednesday to plot where the Cubs' next moves.

"I don't think we're ever done looking," Hendry said. "There's always ways to get better. ... I wouldn't necessarily rule out anything."

Dempster's deal is four years at a reported $52 million, and he freely acknowledged he probably took a hometown discount to stay.

"For me, it's about being somewhere you like being," Dempster said in a conference call with reporters. "It's about being somewhere you think you can win.

"For me, it's more money than we deserve to be getting, but it's the marketplace."

Here's one more glimpse at the marketplace: Dempster said he did not receive any other firm offers, but since the free agent period opened up on Friday, he named Atlanta, the Mets, the Yankees, Toronto and the Los Angeles Dodgers as some of the teams that expressed interest.

Posted on: September 26, 2008 8:41 pm
 

Cubs set playoff rotation

MILWAUKEE -- Chicago manager Lou Piniella said the other day that Ryan Dempster will start Game 1 of the playoffs for the Cubs. Friday, he mapped out the rest of the Chicago rotation: Carlos Zambrano, who threw a no-hitter earlier this month, will start Game 2, followed by Rich Harden in Game 3 and Ted Lilly in Game 4.

Starting Dempster in Game 1 makes sense for two reasons: One, it's a reward for the man who successfully re-converted from closer back to starter and, so far, leads the Cubs in victories with 17.

Zambrano (14-6, 3.91 ERA) badly wants to start Game 1, but he historically has had difficulty controlling his emotions. No doubt, some of Piniella's decision hold Zambrano for the second game is partly related to the manager's ongoing effort to help Zambrano harness those emotions.

There is no guarantee that Zambrano won't be overly exuberant as he opens Game 2. But perhaps he'll work some of that out on the sidelines as Game 1 is played.

Harden (5-1, 1.77) and the left-handed Lilly (16-9, 4.17 ERA) will start the Cubs' two games on the road, Games 3 and 4.

Piniella has said all along that he has confidence in all four of his starters, and the fact that he's naming them now instead of working matchups when the Cubs find out who they'll be playing next week backs that up.

Now, all the Cubs need is an opponent.

If Milwaukee wins the NL wild-card, the Cubs will open their National League Divisional Series next week against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

If the wild-card comes from the NL East, the Cubs would play whomever earns the wild-card slot -- either the Mets or the Phillies.


Posted on: July 14, 2008 10:40 pm
 

Canadian influx to All-Star Game

NEW YORK -- You probably are well aware of the influx of major-league  players from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

But did you know there are three players represented at the All-Star Game from ... Canada?

It's true.

Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster was born in British Columbia.

Twins first baseman Justin Morneau was, too.

And Dodgers catcher Russell Martin is from Montreal.

"Pretty exciting," Morneau said. "It's pretty cool. That's something we're definitely proud of."

Posted on: February 19, 2008 5:34 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2008 5:35 pm
 

Breaking news: All 30 clubs to win World Series!

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Don't believe it? At our current pace, by the end of the spring, one guy from each of baseball's 30 clubs will be on record as guaranteeing a World Series victory in 2008.

The always-fun Kevin Millar was the latest to join the growing parade of big leaguers chirping "We're the team to beat!" on

Tuesday as the Orioles held their first full-squad workout.

Millar joined the Chicago Cubs' Ryan Dempster, Boston's Jonathan Papelbon and the New York Mets' Carlos Beltran as proclaiming

their clubs the team to beat in '08.

Of course, it's like the old Sesame Street bit "One of these things doesn't belong with the others."

The Red Sox, Mets and, yep, even the Cubs have a reasonable chance of winning this year.

The O's? Uh, no.

That didn't stop the Millar Stand-Up act Tuesday morning though as he worked overtime at deflecting the steroids questions

being fired at Jay Gibbons (15 day suspension for human growth hormone use) and Brian Roberts (named in the Mitchell Report).

"I'm guaranteeing a 2008 World Series," Millar crowed, grin plastered firmly in place. "Everybody else is.

"I'm going on the record right now. We're going to shock the world."

Then he took off after Dempster,

"I don't know who Dempster is in Chicago, but if he thinks he's going to win the World Series, he has to come through us

first," Millar continued. "I'm going deep off Ryan Dempster."

Actually, Millar does know who this Dempster cat is. The two were teammates with the Marlins in Florida several years ago.

Ah, details. They only get in the way, right?

Yep, Millar was revved up good. Lockering close to Brian Roberts, he provided the background noise as Roberts was being quizzed

by reporters about the possibility of being traded to the Chicago Cubs.

"Guaranteed World Series," Millar said of Roberts. "Cubs or Orioles, either way."

Likes: Kevin Millar's best days may be behind him, but he's one of those guys who add character to baseball. Football is simply too serious to mine for humor -- at least, that's the way most football coaches and players seem to see it. ... Orioles right-hander Jeremy Guthrie telling me, regarding his outstanding rookie season last year (7-5, 3.70 ERA in 32 appearances, 26 starts), "I was pleasantly surprised, for sure." Honest to a fault. "I came into the rotation doing what I did, competing against the best hitters in the world in the best division in baseball, I was really pleasantly surprised. Now I have to build off of it because one year is only one year." ... Netflix. ... The Rock Me Gently Jeep commercial featuring the old Andy Kim hit. What an acting job by the animals -- or the computerized animals. ... Morning coffee strong enough you can chew -- especially when you're in the car and off to the next camp at 6:30, 7 in the morning.

Dislikes: Subway commercials congratulating Jared for keeping all those pounds off for 10 years. With whatever money they're paying him, he should keep himself from blimping out again. Wait, could that be the start of a Blimpie campaign?

Sunblock day? Cloudy, cool and sometimes rainy today in Fort Lauderdale. Why, I probably should have even worn long pants to camp today. Horrors. ...

Rock-n-Roll lyric of the day:

"Pale invaders and tan crusaders
"Are worshipping the sun
"On the corner of walk and don't walk
"Somewhere on U.S. 1"

-- Jimmy Buffett, Floridays

Posted on: February 15, 2008 3:22 pm
 

The wolves await Pettitte

VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Whoo hoo, spring training at last! Time to break from the storm of steroid disc--

Ah, not so fast. One thread running from the halls of Congress in Washington, D.C., all the way down south to the Yankees' spring base in Tampa, Fla., having to do with the one player not retired who was deposed earlier this month, is extraordinarily interesting and relevant.

What you've probably heard about Andy Pettitte, that he's caring, sensitive and earnest, is true. Which brings up an important question: How will Pettitte, whom the Yankees have given permission to arrive a few days late to camp, handle things once he arrives?

"That's a hell of a question," said Dodgers manager Joe Torre, who remains close to Pettitte after managing him in the Bronx for seven seasons. "I don't think anybody knows what the answer will be."

Even better questions are these: Will the subject dog Pettitte, 35, so badly that it affects his game? Will it haunt him into a premature retirement? He's already pondered retirement in the past, and talk about a sensational story. Not only did he admit using human growth hormone, but he obtained some of it from his father.

Plus, while he may be a good guy, let's not nominate him for sainthood. The guy may have come to the truth, but he arrived slowly and late. Upon release of the Mitchell Report, Pettitte said he used HGH twice. Now, suddenly, it's more than that.

"I feel for Andy," Torre said. "I've been with him for a long time and I still feel close to him. He always enjoyed the fact that there were others there for the press to talk to instead of him.

"I'm sure he'll be uncomfortable. I know he's a professional and he'll get through it, but it won't be comfortable for him."

Another Dodger who came of age in the Yankees' organization when Pettitte and Clemens were there, pitcher Scott Proctor, remains surprised that Pettitte finds himself in this predicament.

"You never expect something like that," Proctor said. "We all have to deal with temptation, and there are many different ones. The decision he made, he has to live with now."

Lots of people thought that Jason Giambi never would be able to play in New York again after he was caught up in the BALCO web because he cares too much about what people think of him, but GIambi hung in there and made it work.

Pettitte now faces the biggest challenge of his career, and who would have ever figured that perhaps Giambi, of all people, would be in position to offer a piece or two of advice?

Likes: Ryan Dempster predicting the Cubs will break their 100-year drought and win the World Series this year. What's he supposed to say? that he came to spring training thinking about a second-place finish? Or getting to the playoffs but getting knocked out in the first round by Arizona, like last year? Maybe Joe Namath's "guarantee" that the Jets would win the Super Bowl was shocking in 1968, but is it so shocking that one of today's players would be so bold as to come out and say something like that? Times have changed. People say all sorts of things today. Sometimes they even believe what they say. ... David Letterman on The Late Show revealing an "incident" related to Roger Clemens' appearance before Congress this week: "Clemens vehemently denied using steroids and at one point got so angry he snapped the Washington Monument in half like a twig." ... XM satellite radio in my rental car this spring. ... Doc's All-American burger joint in Boca Raton. Excellent cheeseburgers, and juicy.

Dislikes: Are we going to have to track down every one of the 89 players fingered as guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs in the Mitchell Report this spring? We are? It's going to be excruciating reading every day over the next three months.

Sunblock day? Absolutely. Strong start to the spring in Vero Beach, where it was a hot sun and about 75 degrees on Friday.

Rock-n-Roll lyric of the day:

For all you people included in the Mitchell Report. ...

"I ain't got the time

"And if my daddy thinks I'm fine

"He's tried to make me go to rehab

"I won't go, go, go"

-- Amy Winehouse, Rehab

 
 
 
 
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