Ryan Dempster has decided to skip the entire 2014 season with the Red Sox, according to his press conference on Sunday. Dempster, who is most noted for his successful years with the Chicago Cubs, did not mention anything about retiring, however. Although there was no official retirement announcement, it is unlikely that Ryan Dempster will play another year in the MLB.
Dempster had a sub par 2013 season that showed in his statistics of a record of 8-9 with an earned run average (ERA) of 4.57 in over 171 innings. There were signs of a decline in Dempster’s performance as a starting pitcher, which led the Red Sox to assign him to the bullpen when the MLB Playoffs began. He was part of the 2013 Boston Red Sox team that won the World Series last year.
The 36-year-old, Ryan Dempster, stood strong as he told the media that he is choosing to skip the 2014 season with the Red Sox. Dempster held a touching press conference in which he admitted that he could not even “look at” his teammates, and he got emotional when he saw that his teammates were in the back of the room. Dempster referred to his teammates as being a significant “support system” in his life, who try to be there for each other. In looking back on his career, he saw himself as being in a situation that was “really fortunate and super lucky.”
This was not an easy decision at all for Dempster, who “thought long and hard about it,” until he ultimately came to a decision that it “was the best thing.” There seems to be a concern with the veteran starting pitcher’s health that played a big part in his decision. Neck issues have been reportedly been bothering the pitcher, and he does not feel that he physically capable of performing at a high level this year. Dempster will not receive his $13.25 million salary for the 2014 season.
Dempster’s MLB career began with the Florida Marlins in 1998. He had an impressive year with the Marlins in 2000 that got him into the All Star Game, but he mostly struggled with his pitch command early on in his career. After a very disappointing two-year period with the Cincinnati Reds, Ryan Dempster revitalized his career with the Chicago Cubs in becoming their closing pitcher. Once he got his chance as a starting pitcher again in 2008, he thrived with the Chicago Cubs for five solid years as one of the National League’s most consistent pitchers. In 2012, Dempster signed a two-year deal with the Boston Red Sox.
The right-handed starting pitcher was known around the baseball world for a move that he developed later on in his career, in which he would twirl his glove in the beginning part of his signature windup. Dempster was also known for throwing a great slider that would sometimes stun hitters because of its impressive movement.
Ryan Dempster announced on Sunday that he will skip the entire 2014 Red Sox season, and it is expected that he will walk away for good from the game he loved. Dempster is positive that he will be taking off all of 2014, but he “does not want to close the door” on coming back to baseball just yet.
By Glen Parris