Ryan Dempster can, and will, talk. This we know. This the media knows, and so Dempster has become everyone's favorite bottomless comment pit.
By now, Chicago Cubs fans should have developed a gag reaction to seeing Dempster's name next to quotation marks in the newspaper or online.
Dempster had another reason to talk this week, because he just re-upped with the team he helped run into the ground last postseason. Perhaps you remember him saying something in spring training about said team making a certain championship series? (Excuse me while I perform the necessary gagging.) And perhaps you remember him walking seven Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLDS....and giving up a grand slam? (Whoa. Think I just pulled a gag muscle.)
So talk Dempster did, to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. The story ran Tuesday. Here's what he said, in recounting the 2008 playoff collapse:
"Maybe we underestimated how prepared you have to be, how ready you have to be, especially in a five-game series. It's like a short heavyweight bout. Ding, the bell is ringing, you've got to go. ...
"It almost felt like it was just going to be a given that we win Games 1 and 2 and move on and go from there. You still have to play the games. You have to put the uniform on, go out there and compete. If anything, we've learned that."
Given? GIVEN?!?! YOU PLAY FOR THE FREAKIN' CHICAGO CUBS! NOTHING IS A GIVEN!
And how long have you been playing baseball? You didn't know you have to be prepared for games? You didn't know you can't just run out on the field and win? Did you happen to witness ANY of what happened to your own team during late August/early September? YOU WEREN'T THAT FREAKIN' GOOD!
The Ryan Dempster weight loss plan: Read quotes; lose your last meal.
This is just the latest excuse offered up by Cub types for what happened in October, but it all boils down to what I've thought all along: These guys weren't mentally tough enough to deal with the pressure of the 100-year-and-counting championship drought. Heck, they weren't even mentally tough enough to participate in the playoffs. And ultimately, players' mental toughness will determine if this drought ends in our lifetimes.
Talking about this just lowers our life expectancy. Please, Demp, have mercy.