Former Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster has joined the MLB Network as an analyst. He will make his debut tomorrow from Wrigley Field’s Party of the Century, celebrating Wrigley’s 100th birthday. Dempster will broadcast during High Heat with Christopher Russo at noon Chicago time. He will then broadcast live at 4 p.m. central time on Intentional Talk. He joins former Cubs players Mark DeRosa and Dan Plesac at MLB Network.
Dempster, now with the Boston Red Sox, announced in February that he would not be playing this season due to his health and family issues. He has been placed on Boston’s restricted list.
During a press conference in Florida, Dempster told reporters that his decision was in the best interest of himself and his team. During the press conference, it appeared he was leaving a door open, but hinted he may not return to the game. This announcement that he has joined MLB Network may be an indication that his pitching career is indeed over, though he has not announced his retirement from the game.
Dempster spent nine of his 16 years pitching for the Cubs. He quickly became a fan favorite, and was noted for his great sense of humor and impressions of personalities, such as Harry Caray.
Dempster founded the Dempster Family Foundation after his now five-year-old daughter, Riley, was diagnosed with 22q deletion syndrome, a condition where a small piece of the 22nd chromosome is missing. According to the foundation’s website, 180 issues can be connected to 22q.
On a recent Thursday, Dempster sat with Examiner.com for an inning in the Wrigley Field bleachers catching up as friends do when they haven’t seen each other in a while. When asked about his daughter, his face lit up, as it always does when anyone asks about her. He proudly showed off photos of her from a recent birthday party. Then he showed his World Series Ring.
Whether Dempster returns to the pitching mound or not, his association with MLB Network looks like a glimpse into what his next career move might be.