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Saturday, July 28, 2012

In an illogical turn of events, Ryan Dempster has become a villain to Cubs fans

Andrew Ryan Dempster: “A man chooses, a slave obeys.” 

But if talk radio and the blogosphere have it right, Dempster has long since outlived his usefulness to the Cubs and is no longer welcome at Wrigley Field. He’s being portrayed as obstructionist, as an obstacle to the new regime’s grand design.

Dempster is in the final year of a contract that pays him $14 million this season, and the Cubs have not exactly been subtle about their desire to move him. The younger, cheaper arms Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are seeking in exchange for him can’t get here soon enough.

...Dempster, though, has been a reluctant pawn in this scenario. As a 10-year major-league veteran with five years of service to one club, he can’t be traded without his consent, a leverage perk the players gained through collective bargaining more than 40 years ago.

Dempster is no dummy. He knows his long-term future with the Cubs is no brighter than Luis Valbuena’s, but his service time gives him a say in what happens next for him. He’s taking advantage of a workplace right most of us take for granted. At 35 and with 2,147 big-league innings on the odometer, he won’t get many more chances

Somehow, though, this makes Dempster disloyal to the Cubs, as if their future is his concern. When they’re trying to unload him? He’s not the one suggesting a move from Chicago.

Repoz Posted: July 28, 2012 at 07:55 AM | 40 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs

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   1. zfan Posted: July 28, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4194397)
Wow. The author managed to somehow avoid any details of the situation. The article basically says Dempster = good pitcher = good guy, therefore if he's not willing to leave, we shouldn't blame him. The fan reaction appears, instead, to be about whether Dempster went back on his word. If he said he would accept a trade to Atlanta, then didn't, some frustration is justified. If his only reason for doing so is "family" then people wonder why LA would be acceptable, but Atlanta not, especially since his daughter's medical treatment is centered in Chicago. In other words, don't bother RTFA.
   2. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: July 28, 2012 at 10:02 AM (#4194412)
The author managed to somehow avoid any details of the situation.


Maybe that's because those details are beside his point. The last sentence of the blurb sums it up pretty well, I think. How can you expect, much less demand, loyalty from a guy you're trying to dump? Not to mention that it still is not at all clear to me that Dempster ever gave his word to anyone about accepting a trade that hadn't been made yet, so it's hard to buy into all the outrage about him going back on it.
   3. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 28, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4194423)
If he said he would accept a trade to Atlanta, then didn't, some frustration is justified.


No, it isn't. He is allowed to change his mind.
   4. zfan Posted: July 28, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4194431)
#2: The issue isn't whether he's disloyal, it's whether he has kept his word. I don't know enough about it to conclude one way or another, but that's the claim from the Dempster critics--that he made statements publicly (earlier in the year) and privately to Jed/Theo that he later backed away from, after the front office had acted on that basis.

#3: Sure, he's allowed to change his mind. And seeing that the Cubs could have acquired Delgado, fans are allowed to be frustrated about it. I didn't say opprobium and internet raving was justified, only frustration.
   5. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 28, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4194439)
#2: The issue isn't whether he's disloyal, it's whether he has kept his word. I don't know enough about it to conclude one way or another, but that's the claim from the Dempster critics--that he made statements publicly (earlier in the year) and privately to Jed/Theo that he later backed away from, after the front office had acted on that basis.


So he thought he would be ok with the trade. Then when it came time for him to sign off on it, he changed his mind. Big whoop.

Contracts are contracts for a reason. They're asking him to do them a favor.
   6. McCoy Posted: July 28, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4194450)
The Cubs could have always created an incentive to accept the trade and yet they didn't.
   7. Spahn Insane Posted: July 28, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4194462)
Ray:

Dempster's having a contractual right to do something and my being justified that he chose to exercise it (leaving aside the manner in which [and timing with which] he chose to do it) aren't mutually exclusive. If it'd been I who granted him the right to veto a trade in the first place, you might have a point, but I didn't.
   8. Spahn Insane Posted: July 28, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4194464)
So he thought he would be ok with the trade. Then when it came time for him to sign off on it, he changed his mind. Big whoop.

So Cub fans used to have a favorable opinion of Dempster, and now some of them don't. Big whoop.
   9. zfan Posted: July 28, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4194488)
A very similar situation at my wife's work this year. She teaches fourth grade. The principal announced that she was going to ask several teachers to switch grades. (Because of a new school opening in the district, this school is going from four classes in each grade to three, starting with the lower grades, and adding extra K sections.) She asked one strong teacher to switch from second to fourth grade. He agreed. On that basis, she filled another position in that grade with someone who is less experienced, thinking the moving teacher could mentor her. About a month later, the strong teacher announced that he was going to accept a position at a different school in the district. Given the timing, the only choice now is to fill the open 4th grade slot with a new hire, at least new to the school, and possibly new to the district and the grade. The teacher had a right to accept to change, then interview elsewhere. But I find it understandable that the principal is frustrated that he didn't decline to switch grades, given that he was looking to leave. And I find it understandable that my wife is frustrated that she will have to spend more time mentoring both the inexperienced teacher and the new hire.

Likewise, Dempster had the right to refuse any trade up to the moment he signed his name on a piece of paper. However, it is understandable that Cub management and Cub fans regret losing out on Randall Delgado, and that they wish Dempster had made up his mind before things got that far with the Braves.
   10. base ball chick Posted: July 28, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4194493)
zfan

the strong teacher was "asked" to fill the open position. the strong teacher obviously didn't want to teach another grade. the strong teacher OBVIOUSLY felt he was not in a position to say NO without causing himself trouble because bosses generally make your life he!! when you don't, um, accept "requests"

the principal should know this - ESPECIALLY seeing as how the teacher is a man and men are a lot smarter about this stuff than women, unfortunately. the minute he got "asked" he said "sure and quietly went out and got another job instead of making a fuss.

when you are the boss and you "request" someone to do something you better make sure they are the kind of person who can be forced into doing something they don't want to do and aren't in a position to make trouble because they are afraid of being worse off and aren't the kind of person who would just find something else and leave
   11. McCoy Posted: July 28, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4194494)
The problem with that view is that almost everybody acts in their own self interest. If an employee is honest with his employer and tells them that they are checking out their options on the market then the employee puts their own status within the company in jeopardy. Maybe they don't get the raise or promotion they thought they were in line for because the employer thinks they are leaving anyway. Maybe they get fired or layed off because there was going to be a round of cuts anyway and might as well cut the guys who are leaving. So on and so on.

If somebody has accepted a job and then tells his current employer that he'll do X when he knows he won't that is wrong. But I don't see anything wrong with somebody saying they'll do X while they are exploring their options. If there is no contract then the employer runs the risk of stuff like this happening.
   12. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 28, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4194520)
If Dempster demanded to be traded by the Cubs, he'd be seen as a huge jerk. Now Dempster wants to remain with the Cubs, and he's seen as a huge jerk. It's no-win.
   13. base ball chick Posted: July 28, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4194562)
fact is that the players is always supposed to do what the fans want without caring about himself, his future or his family. like a slave, a well paid slave.a golden cage is still a cage.

interesting how this kind of is like how a player's wife is supposed to work for HIS charity and is supposd to work for the team for free and isn't supposed to have any sort of career/life besides being a housewife
   14. Spahn Insane Posted: July 28, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4194577)
a golden cage is still a cage.

Boo-freaking-hoo.

Money may not solve every problem, but it certainly solves most of them.
   15. base ball chick Posted: July 28, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4194597)
cmon retro you're bettern that

sounds like what people tell the wife of a cheating husband who has $$$ and why she should just put up with it
   16. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 28, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4194602)
sounds like what people tell the wife of a cheating husband who has $$$ and why she should just put up with it


Yes, and?

Tangent: Is Dempster married? He's perfectly within his rights to refuse a trade to wherever he wants to refuse a trade to, but his behavior reminds me of a man who wants one thing while his wife strongly wants another thing.

Or, just as likely, a man who just can't make up his mind what he wants.

Or perhaps a man who knows exactly what he wants, and what he wants is a contract extension to make it worth his while to pick up and move his family in the middle of the baseball season.

Could be any of those things, really.
   17. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: July 28, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4194619)
Tangent: Is Dempster married? He's perfectly within his rights to refuse a trade to wherever he wants to refuse a trade to, but his behavior reminds me of a man who wants one thing while his wife strongly wants another thing.
Yes, and they live in Vancouver, BC and have a baby daughter with a serious, life-threatening medical condition requiring full-time care. Which is apparently one of the major reasons he wants to be in L.A. rather that out in Atlanta.
   18. base ball chick Posted: July 28, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4194620)
zeth

point is that the man is a person and not a thing and he has a right to have a mind to make up and should have to be pushed around where he doesn't want to go with people using the excuse - he got no business complaining because he's getting a lot of money
   19. Spahn Insane Posted: July 28, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4194624)
Yes, because being traded midseason is exactly the same as a spousal beating. BBC, yer bettern that.
   20. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 28, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4194625)
Yes, and they live in Vancouver, BC and have a baby daughter with a serious, life-threatening medical condition requiring full-time care. Which is apparently one of the major reasons he wants to be in L.A. rather that out in Atlanta.


Right. What I don't understand, and what I think is pissing a lot of people off, is why he (if this happened; maybe some reporter just said it and it's not true) said Atlanta was his "second choice" and then changed his mind after being asked to approve a trade to Atlanta.

BBC: I am sympathetic to that argument, but I also have at least a few sympathies with the argument that professional athletes get their millions of dollars from the fans and should be more sensitive to what the fans want from them. I don't think it's a question with an easy answer. Being within your rights (as Dempster is) and being kind of a dick (which a lot of people think Dempster is, though I'm not sure if they're right or not) are separate issues, and a person can definitely be both at once.
   21. McCoy Posted: July 28, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4194628)
If the Cubs want Ryan Dempster to accept his "second choice" they could have given him an incentive to do so. They did not.


AS an aside, I think if the fans truly paid the players' salaries they wouldn't be making millions of dollars. Most fans contribute zero dollars to MLB.
   22. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 28, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4194631)
If the Cubs want Ryan Dempster to accept his "second choice" they could have given him an incentive to do so. They did not.


Yes, this is why I retain my first suspicion, that Dempster is trying to leverage his no-trade rights into either a million extra bucks from the Cubs, or a contract extension from the Braves. Good for him, if so. I would too.

And your belief that fans don't pay the players (and owners) is correct only if you stare intensely at the trees. The money mostly comes from corporate buyers and advertisers--none of which would be there if people weren't watching and following the team and/or the league.
   23. base ball chick Posted: July 28, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4194642)
retro

i said CHeating, not Beating
point is that giving/paying someone a lot of money should not mean that they now have no right to complain about any mistreatment

zeth,

when carlos lee was still with the astros and was still good, he refused four trades i KNOW of to contenders. you notice that the team didn't badmouth him and NEITHER DID I for refusing to be traded because mclane AGREED to a notrade clause.

and teams LIE to players

when lance berkman agreed to be traded to the yankees where he DIDN'T want to go or live, it was with the understanding that he'd be back with the astros the next year. well, guess what - he got lied to.

mccoy

if (most of) the (male) fans had their way,
players would be paid like minor leaguers and forced to live where the fans could hassle them all day long and have to sell vacuum cleaners in the offseason and be married to ugly nagging chunks and their stupid ugly screaming kids like they are.
- there could be a few babe ruth kind of STARS!!!!! and it would be their duty to live like tucker max/tiger woods so as those self same beer gut guys could live their fantasy dreams out

1 - hey, the ballplayer is a Regular Guy like me and i could play just as well - even better!!! i wouldn't never strike out when the best pitcher in the ML is pitching and i woulda made that throw from the CF wall to nail the fastest runner at home.
2 - hey, the ballplayer gets to have more money and cut thru playboy/hooter sluts like a hot knife thru butter. f*** yeahhhhhh
   24. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 28, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4194643)
McCoy, I have no ####### clue what you're talking about with the Cubs not giving Dempster an incentive to accept the trade other than continuing your bizarre anti-Theo/Hoyer tangent.
   25. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 28, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4194651)
SouthSideRyan: I had no trouble understanding it. Dempster might be persuaded to accept the trade to the Braves if either team involved offered him a briefcase full of money to sweeten the pot. It's entirely possible this is exactly what Dempster has in mind.
   26. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: July 28, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4194655)
I actually think Zeth may have stumbled onto something with his observation that Dempster's behavior reminds him of a guy who wants one thing but is being pulled in another direction by his wife. Maybe he initially said he'd be okay with a trade to Atlanta because he actually WAS okay with it, but his wife came to him and said "no way, think of the baby, you're far enough away as it is in Chicago but we had no control over that...but now you have to get to L.A. if you can but at least don't go even further away" or something like that, and that's what caused him to change his tune. Obviously in a situation like that a man is going to hold his tongue and not throw his wife to the wolves by naming her as a reason he's changed his mind. (Angry Cubs fans are not known for their delicacy.) Which would actually make a lot of sense out of the entire fiasco here.

This is the purest, rankest sort of speculation and deserves to be treated as such, but it does provide a plausible explanation for what has gone on here that squares with Dempster's previous statements and his general reputation as a non-jerk and all-around good guy. Hence I like it, and declare it 100% proven to be true.
   27. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: July 28, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4194657)
I never took a geography course, but I keep seeing the reasoning that Dempster prefers to be in LA instead of Atlanta because it's closer to Vancouver. But isn't Chicago even further away than either Atlanta or LA?
   28. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: July 28, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4194658)
I never took a geography course, but I keep seeing the reasoning that Dempster prefers to be in LA instead of Atlanta because it's closer to Vancouver. But isn't Chicago even further away than either Atlanta or LA?
Um...in what world is Chicago further away from Vancouver than Atlanta? Atlanta is actually only slightly further east, but it's much further south.

L.A. is much, much closer to Vancouver (~1,350 miles) than either Chicago (~2,300 miles) or Atlanta (~3,000 miles), with far more direct flights out of LAX to YVR as well. Furthermore, the real advantage of L.A. for someone with family in Vancouver is the time zone factor, which makes it a lot easier for visits back and forth from both sides AND for phone/video communication in general.
   29. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: July 28, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4194662)
BTW, fun American geography factoid: did you realize that Atlanta is actually further west than either Cincinnati, Cleveland or Detroit?
   30. vivaelpujols Posted: July 28, 2012 at 05:41 PM (#4194697)
I don't think Dempster's being a dick, as he can do whatever he wants. But I think Cubs fans are allowed to hate him as he screwed them out of a great haul by not accepting the trade (OTOH, the only reason Dempster got that haul in the first place was because he's been so good).
   31. zonk Posted: July 28, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4194702)
I might have an opinion on this....

But I don't want to hurt Ryan's feelIngs because feelings matter.
   32. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 28, 2012 at 06:13 PM (#4194710)
I don't care if it was Mr. or Mrs. Dempster who was being fickle (if someone was in fact being fickle). The five and ten rule gives you the right to be fickle and focus on more important things than how to set up a camp for your family in every major league city for two months. Dempster vastly exceeded my expectations, so as far as I'm concerned he completely deserves to be as fickle as he wants. As I said elsewhere, negotiating his own trade is not in his job description.
   33. Tripon Posted: July 28, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4194714)
Ken Rosenthal just said the Cubs and Dodgers are talking about including Soriano in any Dempster trade.

Edit: On FOX's broadcast of LA and San Fran.
   34. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 28, 2012 at 06:30 PM (#4194719)
<iIKen Rosenthal just said the Cubs and Dodgers are talking about including Soriano in any Dempster trade.</i>

Well, clearly that's a deal-breaker from the Cubs' perspective.
   35. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: July 28, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4194725)
Soriano to the Dodgers? That would completely restore all the goodwill Dempster lost by hemming and hawing about the Atlanta deal.
   36. Walt Davis Posted: July 28, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4194741)
BTW, fun American geography factoid: did you realize that Atlanta is actually further west than either Cincinnati, Cleveland or Detroit?

That's why they were in the NL West. :-)
   37. salviaman Posted: July 29, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4195062)
The author has the correct term for Dempster--obstructionist. A team and its players are not on an equal playing field when it comes to issues of selfishness. A team has always been expected to do what is in its own best interest. But a player has always been expected to do what is in the best interest of his team. And yes, that holds even if the team is trying to 'get rid' of him...
   38. McCoy Posted: July 29, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4195108)


McCoy, I have no ####### clue what you're talking about with the Cubs not giving Dempster an incentive to accept the trade other than continuing your bizarre anti-Theo/Hoyer tangent.

Really? You don't have a clue? I find that hard to believe.
   39. KingKaufman Posted: July 30, 2012 at 01:33 AM (#4195589)
I'm still confused about the situation at zfan's wife's school.

The principal is mad that the experienced teacher "didn't decline to switch grades, given that he was looking to leave." Now principal has to train and mentor two new teachers, 2nd and 4th grade. But what's the difference? If he was looking to leave so he declined to switch grades, the principal would have had to hire a fourth grade teacher, not a second-grade teacher. And then when the experienced teacher left, the principal would have to hire a second-grade teacher. Either way, the principal has two new teachers. Why be mad at the teacher for switching grades before leaving?
   40. Tripon Posted: July 30, 2012 at 01:50 AM (#4195591)
Because it created more work for the principal, and he thought he could count on somebody he didn't count on.

Its a matter of inconvenience, not of actually losing assets.

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