MLB Network’s Ryan Dempster Talks Cardinals, Cubs Topics

Former Chicago Cubs player and current MLB network analyst Ryan Dempster joined The
Ryan Kelley Morning After Tuesday to discuss several Cardinals-Cubs topics, including a potential controversy over the Cardinals’ closer situation and the Cubs’ future.

Read some excerpts and listen to the complete interview below:

 On Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal’s struggles:

“He’s a guy who burst on the scene throwing 100 miles an hour and he’s just going through a stretch. Sometimes closers will go through that and your initial reaction is to get them out of there or get somebody else in there, but I think it’s one of those things where you’ve got to see through it. You’ve got to let him work through what he is doing. Mentally when you’re a closer you’re prepared for that situation. Maybe if there are times throughout the course of the week or a month where you put a guy in a blow out game or a game where you are down to try to get him to sharpen his back; to me he is a guy you want to put back in the bullpen. He has the stuff, sometimes the command gets away from him pitching behind the count or walking guys, but you just got to get back to throwing over the plate.”

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Is his mindset any different in non-saving situations that would lead to his struggles?

“He has a good change up. You’ve got to be able to find a way in those non closing situations. I remember closing for a few years in Chicago and those were the days, I don’t know why, you end up giving up runs.  I don’t know what it is. I’ve seen it a ton of times, not just with myself or Trevor Rosenthal. For whatever reason you’ve got to bear down and make those pitches just like it is a one-run game because the objective is still the same; to get three out. He’ll work through it. He’s a pro and he’s been down this road before.”

Does it worry you at all if the Cubs don’t win the World Series this year that it will be a huge let down?

“Not really. I was talking to somebody that put it really good that said if you can’t be having fun and expect it this year, then when can you? I think that it’s a great mentality to have. You have to have that expectation as a fan base and as team. The expectation is to win and win the whole thing. It doesn’t come without going up there and playing the games. You can’t just go up there and say I’m going to believe it, you’ve got to go up there and execute and do what you can. The Cubs this year are the ball club to do it. They have been doing incredibility well from the start of the season, but there’s no trophies at the all-star break. There’s no big prize for getting half-way through the season. You’ve got to do it through the whole season and the playoffs. These guys want it really bad after last year. They want another shot.”

On Cubs manager Joe Madden:

“Everybody’s got a different style of management. Everybody’s got their niche. Some people are more straight and narrow and other people are laid back. Joe does run tight ship when it comes to how you play on the field, how you hustle, how you practice and how you execute, but he lets thing relax a little bit. He realizes that only when it’s not game time to let the guys loosen up a little bit. He is constantly making adjustments to get that edge and letting the guys be guys.”

Listen to the complete conversation here: