So, remember that situation that a lot of members of the Red Sox Nation were worried about regarding six starting pitchers for five spots in the rotation? Well, it appears as though that has worked itself out. Ryan Dempster announced that he is not going to be playing in 2014.
This was a shock to a lot of people, although apparently Dempster has been feeling this way for at least a few weeks and had told the Boston Red Sox that he didn’t think that he was going to pitch this year. He also chose to leave about $13 million on the table by letting the Red Sox know that he was not going to fulfill the last year of his contract. It was agreed that he would be put on the restricted list by Boston. Something positive that comes out of this development is Boston now has that money at their disposal which they could use to sign another player or perhaps hold on to it for acquiring someone at the trading deadline. Considering Dempster probably would have been pitching in relief or traded, Boston management has to be happy on some level.
That is a rare move to know that one isn’t feeling their competitive best and wanting to spend more time with their family. In sports, you see way too many athletes who seem to only be playing just for the money. Dempster appears to be an honest, classy individual and he certainly contributed significantly to the huge positive change in team chemistry last year.
He said he hasn’t decided if he is retiring so the door could still potentially be open for him to return in 2015. However, to be a part of a World Championship team in your final year is a great way to end a career especially as Dempster had played for sixteen years and 2014 was his first appearance in the World Series.
He helped keep the team loose last year, and that is a quality that cannot be overlooked. He will be missed for his clubhouse presence and will always be remembered for his part in the unforgettable 2013 season.
Of course, hitting Alex Rodriguez with a pitch certainly didn’t hurt his popularity at all.