A Ryan Dempster Primer
Posted by athomeatfenway on December 20, 2012
So who is Ryan Dempster, the 35 year old moundsman ? We know he was a long time Cub. Many say the man is very hittable. How will he fare in Fenway, you ask ? No one can say for sure, but here are 9 insights into the man to help you build a vibe and feng your shui.
CARL HUBBELL LIKES DEMPSTER
And why shouldn’t he ? They are both All Star Game K specialists. Hubbell is famed, of course, for striking out 5 consecutive future HOF’ers in the 1934 classic. In 2008, Dempster made his only ASG game appearance in the 9th inning whereupon he K’d Ian Kinsler, Dioner Navarro and JD Drew. It’s not Ruth-Gehrig-Foxx-Simmons-Cronin, but it’s close, isn’t it ?
NO PUCKING FILM CAREER – YET.
Ryan played in the 2002 NHL All Star Game Celebrity Challenge on film producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s Bad Boys team. Ryan passed the puck to Phil Esposito, Bobby Farrelly, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Jari Kuri and Alex Trebek, among others. According to imdb.com, Dempster has yet to parlay Bruckheimer into anything more than playing himself in the 2009 Cub documentary, WE BELIEVE.
THE PRICE OF MEDIOCRITY
Ryan has made at least $76 million in his career to date. Add to that a new 2 year, 26.5 Million contract with the Red Sox. All for a guy with a 1.43 career WHIP and a 124 – 124 WL record. Then again, there was 2008, when he went 17-6, 2.06 and finished 6th in the CY voting.
IT’S A LONG WAY HOME
Gibsons, British Columbia is where Dempster was raised. Gibsons is 3,270 miles from Fenway Park; 2,270 miles from the Ballpark @ Arlington; 3,475 miles from Marlins Park; 2,512 miles from Great American Ballpark; and 2,219 miles from Wrigley Field. Ryan could have added Seattle to his list of MLB home. It’s only 169 miles from Mom and Dad.
THIS IS THE GOLDEN AGE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA IN THE MLB
Since Jim McKeever & Henry Mullen broke in with the Boston Reds in 1884, there have been 31 players in MLB history who, like Dempster, were born in B.C.. For whatever a recent surge in BC players might say about expansion and expanded rosters, Baseball Almanac recognizes 15 BC’ers who are active today. They include prominent names like Jeff Francis, Brett Lawrie, Jason Bay, and Justin Morneau. Plus Adam Loewen, Trystan Magnuson, Scott Mathieson, Keving Nicholson, Mike Nickeas, Scott Richmond, Michael Saunders, R.J. Swindle, and Blake Hawksworth. Larry Walker could well be the best B.C. hitter historically. Dempster the best pitcher.
A #5 FOR A #5
The Rangers and Marlins made a prescient trade on Aug. 8, 1996, when they traded Dempster even up for John Burkett. Both players pitched for 5 different teams over 15 years. Their career ERA’s are a tick apart, Burkett at 4.31, Dempster at 4.33. In 2002-3, Burkett finished his career with the Red Sox in the #5 rotation position, the same position that is destined for Dempster in Boston.
#46 IS A MIXED BAG
22 Red Sox players have worn #46, most notably Bob Stanley, Josh Reddick and Jacoby Ellsbury. Not too shoddy, right ? Then again, so did Dwayne Hosey, Devern Hansack and Steve Barr. Dempster should fit in somewhere in the lower-middle of this spectrum.
It was fun watching Wakefield climb to #57 on the all time strikeout list, passing Catfish Hunter and others who were decidedly better hurlers than Wake. In the next 2 years, Dempster could raise his K total from 1,918 to 2,100, from position #83 to #59. But unlike Timmy, he won’t pitch until he is 44 so he’s not headed to rarified climes. Still, 2,000 K’s is impressive on its own.
NO POST SEASON COULD BE A GOOD THING
Ryan has been up and down in 2 playoff appearances. The Cubs let him relieve in the 2007 NLDS, when he pitched just 1 inning vs. the D Backs, getting 3 outs with 11 pitches, including 2 strike outs. Nice ! The following year, the Cubs gave him a start in the DS against L.A. in which he walked 7 and didn’t make it out of the 5th inning. That effort was punctuated by walking Furcal, Ethier and Manny, whereupon James Loney took him yard for a grand slam.