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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Ryan Dempster Performs Act Of Valor By Facing Fearsome Dominican Republic Lineup In Return To Baseball

Via MLB
Via MLB

Ryan Dempster last pitched in a professional baseball game in 2013. He then decided to walk away and leave money on the table rather than keep playing, wrapping up a very respectable career at age 36 after 16 years in the majors. But now, nearing his 40th birthday, he decided to give the game a try one more time by pitching for his native Canada in the World Baseball Classic.

His first assignment after a few years away from baseball? Eh, just the best damn lineup in the tournament—like, by a long shot.

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The heart of that Dominican lineup is about as much of a murderer’s row as you’re ever going to get in a tournament like this one, and Dempster did... not at all good, in any sense of the word, but probably a little better than you might have expected! He put Team Canada in a hole quickly—giving up four runs off of seven hits and a walk in just two innings is obviously not a good line—but all things considered, he could have at least looked a lot worse. His velocity was a tiny bit higher than it was when he retired (sitting low 90s tonight, compared to high 80s a few years ago), there wasn’t a ton of hard contact here aside from a lone dinger to Welington Castillo, and really, this was perhaps all that Canada could reasonably ask from him facing a lineup like this after more than three years away from any sort of organized baseball.

Now we wait for the chance to see Dempster’s teammate and fellow comeback-hopeful Eric Gagne get his shot.

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