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Ryan Dempster on D&C: ‘I want to win a World Series’

02.14.13 at 12:18 pm ET
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New Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Thursday to discuss his move to the American League East, why he chose Boston, and the importance of logging 200 innings.

Dempster is another new player expected to improve the clubhouse chemistry this season. He is known for his sense of humor, including his impression of former Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray, and realizes the importance of a loose clubhouse.

“No matter where you’re playing, what city you’re playing in, I like to have a good time,” Dempster said. “We’re playing baseball, we’re not curing cancer or we’re not doctors doing heart surgery. We’re out there trying to play a game and have fun, and the clubhouse is kind of that atmosphere. It should be that way and I think we’ve got a bunch of guys that are really good at that and you’re going to see that and we’re going to have a lot of fun out there, but that’ll lead to some good baseball in the field.”

Dempster has spent much of his career in the National League, pitching with the Marlins, Reds and Cubs before being traded to the Rangers for the second half of last season. He was asked about the daunting task of pitching in the American League East.

“At first, when I first got traded over [to Texas], two of my first three starts I gave up 16 runs,” Dempster said. “That kind of put a big skew on my numbers. But I figured you make pitches no matter who you’re pitching against. Yeah, facing a DH is totally different than facing a pitcher, but at the same time there’s a lot of good lineups in the National League, as you can tell. The last three years the National League won the World Series. You’ve just got to make pitches no matter who you’re facing, [if] you execute good pitches, the more times you do that the more success you’re going to have.”

The right-hander was courted by numerous teams, and the offseason moves that the Sox made were important to him in why he chose to sign with Boston.

“I really, really like John Farrell and the possibilities of going out there and pitching every fifth day for him, and the guys that they added is something that appealed to me,” Dempster said. “Obviously putting a Boston Red Sox jersey on is something that’s pretty humbling. So I’ve been really lucky to be a part of two really special franchises now and I’m looking forward to going there and trying to compete for a championship here.”

In his 14-year-career, Dempster has pitched 200 innings in seven seasons and has set that as a goal for this year.

“Yeah, I think 200 innings is important for a lot of different reasons,” Dempster said. “I think a) it means you’re staying healthy, b) you’re keeping your team in the ballgame most times, c) the bullpen, you’re giving them a break. I think as a starting pitcher, those are three really important parts, and if you do those things, you’ve got a chance to go out there and win a lot of ballgames.”

Dempster chose to sign with the Red Sox on Dec. 13, partly because of the chance to compete for a championship, something that has eluded him in his career.

“The factor was a chance to win,” Dempster said. “At this point in my career I want to win a World Series. That’s what drives me. … For me, I’ve been to the playoffs a couple of times with the Cubs and it was three and out. That leaves that taste in your mouth of wanting it, and it is true, as you go on in your career, that’s all you care about. You’ve made your money, you’ve got your time in. You want to go out there and get a ring, and I look at our team and what they were able to do and put together a team and I think we have as good a chance as anybody. You look at the back end of our bullpen and I put it up against anybody in baseball.”

To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

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