Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster announced this past weekend he would not be playing any baseball in 2014. The 36 year old journeyman's announcement is said to not only be a surprise to the fans, but the organization as well. Under contract for another season, Dempster has left 13 plus million on the table. “I don’t feel like I am capable of performing to the ability and standard that I am accustomed to,” Dempster told Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal. “ Ryan's sudden statement has left Red Sox nation a buzz, supplying no shortage of opinions. Here's what our "experts" think.
Though it won't match the infamous duck boat championship parade the Red Sox held in November after winning their third World Series title in the past 10 years, they could squeeze out a quick dry run this week in downtown Fort Myers on the heels of human piñata Ryan Dempster announcing he won't pitch for Boston this year.
A pitcher with an ERA north of 4.00 volunteering to remove himself from the already-crowded pitching rotation is cause for celebration.
Citing a lingering neck injury and the need to spend more time with his family, Dempster is stepping away from baseball in 2014, which is no big loss for the Red Sox unless you think having a jokester in the clubhouse who can't pitch is worth $13.25 million. I'd be yucking it up, too, if I made that much money for being mediocre at my job. Dempster is classified as an innings-eater, which is a nice way of saying his only skill set is being able to post 200 innings a year without his arm falling off.
The idea of having "too much pitching" is an absurd theory, but the Red Sox technically had six pitchers vying for five spots. Someone will inevitably get hurt or disappoint, which will open up a spot for someone else, but if Boston's farm system is as deep as everyone wants you to believe it is, they should have no problem dipping into Triple-A Pawtucket to find a serviceable stopgap. And if all else fails and they'd rather have a veteran presence as an insurance policy, there's always Ervin Santana, who still doesn't have a home despite posting a sub-4.00 ERA last year -- the third time in four seasons he's done so despite pitching in the hitter-friendly American League. With Dempster gone, the Sox have another $13.25 million they can either spend or sit on.
If they don't spend it on talent, they could use it to throw the biggest victory parade south of the Mason Dixon Line.
Who Cares! This market is to hands on, when it comes to it's sports. Dempster was a servicable innings eater for Boston's championship run. An invaluable role filled by names like Wakefield & Tavares in years past. However pitching is the one thing you can never have enough of. The Sox now have $13 million to find themselves a suitable arm or two. Time is also on their side, as the calender still reads Febuary . The real insult here, comes in the way of the organization's alleged "surprise" when they heard the news. It's perfectly logical to think that a veteran such as Dempster, who quite frankly has played on some horrible teams for most of his career, would want to go out on top. Proffesional athletes do not wake up one day and say "that's it, I'm done." Ti insinuate that is just insulting.
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