Gibsons’ Ryan Dempster and the Boston Red Sox have one more challenge ahead of them before they can claim a World Series ring — the St. Louis Cardinals.
The BoSox and Cardinals opened up the 2013 World Series on Wednesday night in Boston. Game two was Thursday night, past deadline with games three, four and five in St. Louis Saturday through Monday. Games six and seven would be back in Boston Oct. 30 and 31.
The series looks to be a classic between two teams with stellar starting pitching, solid bullpens and big-time hitters up and down each line-up.
For the right-hander, Saturday night’s American League championship series clinching 5-2 win over the Detroit Tigers was the first time in his 15-year Major League career that Dempster could celebrate a league pennant and a trip to a World Series.
“It was pretty unreal,” he said on Monday night in an interview from Boston. “It was pretty fun to have my little guy Brady out there. I think he got a real good taste and an idea of what it’s all about. During the day I said well, you can spray Champagne on the guys and he says, But daddy I can’t have any alcohol. So we found some crazy string and he sprayed it all over the guys in the locker room and him and Koji’s little guy [Koji Uehara, Red Sox closer] poured Sprite over each other’s heads, it was really cool.
“To be on the field and hold the trophy with him, to share it with your son and my mom and dad were there too, so it was just something really special.”
Dempster admitted that he did dream of playing in a World Series while growing up. It proves that if you work hard and believe in yourself, anything is possible.
“I think that is probably a big reason why I am where I am because I believed that it was possible to one day play for a World Series,” he said. “I think I probably remember most vividly when I was watching the Blue Jays win their championships and I was in high school and closer to my first dream and I said I really want to do that — that would be so special. Then you come up from the minor leagues to the big leagues and you just want to get in and get a career started. Of course you want to win and you want to do well, but you are trying to establish yourself. Then there comes a point really fast in your career where it becomes the most important thing. As your career starts to tail off it’s really the only thing that matters because that’s what you are playing for.”
Dempster said he felt right from spring training in March that this year’s edition of the Red Sox was a special group.
“We talked about it a lot — we talked about going to the World Series. We don’t take anything for granted and when you don’t take anything for granted that’s how you make it happen when you believe in it,” he said. “We’re almost there, but we have one more challenge in front of us. Were going to be extremely prepared as is St. Louis. It’s just going to come down too who does the little things more consistently. It’s going to be a fun series.”
He said the team has had a take it one day at a time approach all season long and that’s how they will approach this series with the Cardinals.
“You can look at it as a seven-game series, or look at it like we have all year with every game, which is let’s just win today’s game,” Dempster said. “We have never gotten too far ahead of ourselves at all. I mean, even down the stretch, you’re mapping out scenarios, but you just have to worry about coming to the park and winning that day and that’s why we are where we are.
“And the reason we are like that is because we have a good group of really good professionals, guys who have been around a long time, and mix that with the young guys, a little bit of everything where guys just understand that all we can control is just coming to the park and win today and that’s gotten us into a real good spot so far.
“There is just an attitude with this team and like I said it’s been there from day one. I think everybody as athletes at this level, we all understand what it takes — you have to take it one game at a time and that’s hard to stick too sometimes, but it’s an attitude that we’re the best and no disrespect to any other teams, we’ve worked hard and we feel that way because of the hard work that we’ve put in.”
Dempster admits that he would love to be starting for Boston as he did during the regular season, but whatever he has to do to help the team win, even if that is coming out of the bullpen, is what is most important.
“We’re doing so well and this is the time of the year where you check your ego at the door,” he said. “Would I like to be out there starting a game in the World Series of course — I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t feeling that way. But at the same time, you realize you never know what game and what situation might be a pivotal moment in a series. You just have to be there to answer the bell and be ready when you’re called upon.”