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Jake Peavy on M&M: ‘We’re going to miss Ryan [Dempster]‘

02.17.14 at 12:17 pm ET
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Red Sox pitcher Jake Peavy talked with Lou Merloni at spring training on Monday about Ryan Dempster‘€™s announcement that he will sit out the 2014 season. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

“€œI think everybody was surprised, but at the same time, as surprised as we were, you’ve got to be supportive,” Peavy said of Dempster’s Sunday announcement. “€œSomething obviously he’€™s thought through, wasn’t an impulse, impulsive decision. We’€™re happy for Ryan if he’€™s happy, but he’€™s certainly going to be missed in more ways than one.”

Despite being teammates with Dempster for a short amount of time, Peavy ranks him as one of the best he’s ever had.

“Just a great, great teammate, and I spoke to my brother yesterday and said it’€™s amazing that you could say this guy is one of your top few teammates of all time when you only spent a few, really three months with the guy, but that certainly was the case with Ryan,” Peavy said. “I think anybody in here will tell you the same thing, and he’€™ll be missed, but as we had dinner with him yesterday, we made sure he’€™ll be around a little bit this year.”

Peavy noted how Dempster never panicked and always kept things loose for his teammates.

“I think you see the things, when we went on that West Coast swing and didn’t play that well in San Francisco, when things were going bad, Demp never gave into that panic mode and just always tried to do his part in keeping things light and understanding that we couldn’t get tight,” Peavy said. “We had a great group, we had a great ball club, we were prepared, and as long as we played nice and relaxed, our talent would come out and we would end up where we wanted to be.”

Added Peavy: “€œI think that’€™s the biggest thing with me, with Demp is just never, always take things as serious as you need to take them to do well, but at the same time don’€™t press press press, because at the end of the day you don’€™t get the best out of yourself or your teammates if you’€™re doing that.”

According to Peavy, Dempster was an integral part of the Red Sox winning the World Series despite his limited contributions on the mound.

“To be able to go out on your terms, I think, is something that not many people get to do,” Peavy said. “For him to, like he said, throw his last pitch in the World Series and record a strikeout there to end Game 1, I think it was special to him. He’€™s chased, as I had, as so many guys in this clubhouse had, chased that world title. He was an integral part of it happening.”

Dempster, who turns 37 in August, may have walked away because of family and wear and tear, something Peavy understands.

“€œI think at the end of the day when you start getting as old as Ryan is and the wear and tear, I’€™m a lot in the same boat, as is Lack [John Lackey], as a bunch of us are. You start contemplating if you can play to the level you’€™re use to playing at,” Peavy said. “That, paired with kids getting older. Once again, I can relate to that and know that it was awfully hard to leave home with a 12-, 9-year-old, 5-year-old crying for daddy not to leave. That’s tough, and I’€™m sure that played a huge factor in it as well. We’€™re going to miss Ryan, that’€™s for sure, but we’€™re certainly happy that he’€™s happy.”

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