RedEye

Now let's see Epstein perform as well as Dempster

It’s as if Ryan Dempster wants to get traded.

I realize that Dempster gave his OK for the Cubs to trade him, but it felt grudging. There’s no way Dempster wants to leave the Cubs, even as bad as they are. He loves the team, the stadium and the city. They all love him right back.

But here’s the thing: Dempster didn’t just give the Cubs approval to shop him, he gave potential trade partners a sneak preview. The Cubs couldn’t have asked for a better commercial than Dempster’s insistent effort in New York that advertised his value, health and character.

Dempster had been placed on the disabled list with a right lat muscle injury and was scheduled to return after the All-Star Game. But there he was last week, forcing his way off the DL and bugging manager Dale Sveum for a start before the break.

Sveum sent him out there, and everybody was rewarded with five shutout innings that ran Dempster’s scoreless streak to 27.

See? It’s as if Dempster is in a hurry to leave. As if he wants to get traded.

And that’s good --- for the Cubs, Dempster, and the team that gets him.

The talent-gobbling Cubs likely will demand three solid prospects but probably settle for two because of Dempster’s age and contract. Dempster will go to a contending team, and that team will get a guy who can help win a World Series. A win-win-win proposition

Forget his wins, although his 4-3 record for a team 19 games under .500 is an argument for beatification. More revealing and most impressive is his 1.99 ERA. That’s a magnificent number. Microscopic, too. It’s the best in the National League and second in the majors behind Angels stud Jered Weaver’s 1.96.

No wonder Dempster calls this the best first half of his 15-year-career.

Oh, wait, another thing: Dempster could’ve let the schedule be the schedule. He could’ve come back when the Cubs expected him to. He could’ve sat it out.

But no. He came back early. Dempster showed the Yankees, Dodgers, Reds, Tigers and other rumored suitors that his heart and backbone are as strong as his right lat muscle.

In showing that’s he’s healthy, Dempster gave Theo Epstein a head start. Instead of waiting until next Friday at the earliest, Dempster allowed the Cubs’ baseball honcho to engage in significant trade talks by about 1:30 p.m. CDT on Sunday.

Epstein already was running up his cell minutes over Dempster, but Sunday’s outing might’ve blown up Epstein’s call waiting.

Now it’s on Epstein to be as good on the phone as Dempster is on the mound.

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  •  

     

  • Keeping things 'casual' and the trouble with pity sex

    Keeping things 'casual' and the trouble with pity sex

    Dear Anna: I’ve been seeing this guy very casually for about six months now. It’s going okay, but I’m wondering if it’s possible to ask for more communication and if we might hang out more than once a week, or if this will ruin the whole “casual” vibe. Please advise.—Cool Cat

  • New reality TV show to follow Chicago tattoo artists

    New reality TV show to follow Chicago tattoo artists

    Artists at a Pilsen tattoo shop who claim they "run Chicago" will be the focus of a new VH1 reality TV show, network representatives announced this week. "Black Ink Crew: Chicago," which premieres Oct. 26, profiles the artists at 9Mag tattoo parlor, 2150 S. Canalport Ave. The show "follows a passionate...

  • At least 11 people shot dead, including 11-year-old boy, since late Tuesday in Chicago

    At least 11 people shot dead, including 11-year-old boy, since late Tuesday in Chicago

    At least 11 people have died and 14 others have been wounded in separate shootings in Chicago since late Tuesday, including the accidental shooting of an 11-year-old boy, police said.

  • Emanuel set to call for largest property tax hike in modern Chicago history

    Emanuel set to call for largest property tax hike in modern Chicago history

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel is set to call for the largest property tax increase in modern Chicago history to raise enough money to make a major pension payment for police and firefighters next year, the mayor's City Council floor leader and a City Hall source told the Chicago Tribune late Wednesday.

  • Security ushers Emanuel away as Dyett protesters take to stage at budget hearing

    Security ushers Emanuel away as Dyett protesters take to stage at budget hearing

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel had to be ushered off by his security detail during a public hearing on the city budget Wednesday night after protesters trying to keep a South Side high school open took to the stage.

  • Best new movies

    Best new movies

    Reviews of recent favorites like 'Queen of Earth,' 'We Are Your Friends,' 'Digging for Fire,' 'Straight Outta Compton,' 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,' 'The End of the Tour,' 'The Gift, 'Ricki and the Flash,' 'Mission: Impossible--Rogue Nation,' 'Ant-Man,' 'Amy,' 'Magic Mike XXL,' 'The Overnight,' 'Me...

  • Chicago college football bar guide

    Chicago college football bar guide

    Chicago's only big sports conflict for most of the year is Cubs vs. Sox, but when college football season kicks off, North Side or South Side is much less relevant than your alma mater. The Big 10 might dominate here, but the diverse city means you'll find sports bars dedicated to a huge range...

Comments
Loading
87°