The World Baseball Classic rosters were finalized last week, and a few of the Chicago Cubs who had previously been rumored playing were not to be found.
One of whom was starting pitcher and native Canadian Ryan Dempster.
And apparently, not only do the Canadians have a baseball team in the WBC, they actually care about the quality of the team they field. So much so, they’re kind of pissed with Dempster.
“You don’t know if it is the player’s decision or the club’s,” said Larry Walker, Canada’s best-ever position player.
Not in doubt for Walker is his next conversation with Dempster.
When the Chicago Cubs right-hander didn’t pitch for Canada in the inaugural WBC in 2006, Walker “aired him out” and has been trying to reach him for a month to give him the same kind of, er, how shall we put this in a Sunday newspaper … lecture?
“Both the club and player have their own point of view, but the player gets to wear a jersey with Canada across it,” Walker said. “I wish they had it when I was playing.” CANOE — SLAM!.
There are some other choice comments from the article, some subtle, some not so, that express the national displeasure with Dempster.
All I can say is that he’s paid to pitch for the Chicago Cubs, and I can’t fault his decision, eh.