Ryan Dempster Exercises Player Option, Stays With Cubs

Still want to punch that smug face

Extry! Extry! Read all about it!

Breaking news! Chicago Cubs opening day starter Ryan Dempster exercises his player option and will be back with the team next year!

Okay, it’s not exactly breaking news.  This happened a couple weeks ago.  I was still in the middle of a group break at the time and couldn’t stop the presses just for that, could I?

Regardless, this bit of information is still news to most of you, since I doubt you follow the Cubs non-GM/Manager/Theo news too closely.  Consider this a blog exclusive! <cue fancy, loud, obnoxious flying graphic>

This is great news for me.  It means I have at least another year before I need to consider the pros and cons of keep v. dump.  I’ll most likely keep, for the record.  It also means the Cubs are going to have another solid piece in their rotation, and thus one less pitcher to find in free agency or trade.

Ryan was better than his stat line indicates.  He didn’t have a win in his last I don’t know how many games.  Ten, I think?  I can’t be bothered to look these things up.  I’m not an actual newsman, remember. That was just the loose premise used to open the post, and it’s already been abandoned.  Anyway, in those last ten starts, he racked up zero wins, but it was almost all due to zero run support.  If I remember correctly, they were all quality starts, and he lost a couple of tough ones.  Garza may have been our best pitcher this year, but Dempster was better than advertised.  Plus, they say he’s a clubhouse leader.

I also wouldn’t mind having Pena back. At a reduced rate.

I’m digressing from the point I have yet to make.  The point is I’m currently collecting Ryan Dempster cards.  I figured this extra special news was cause for an extra special look at some extra special Dempsters I picked up throughout the season.  Consider it a Dempster Dump.

What a flattering picture

Remember 2010 Topps?  That seems so ancient now. Look at how dated this card is.  What we have is a series 2 Blue version of the relic set.  You may notice the bottom of the gray swatch is darker than the rest.  I have no idea why, but it’s not just the scan.  It looks permanently wet.  You’ll also notice the weird red splotch in the corner. That’s on the card. I may upgrade, but doubt it.

It's hidden in the glitter, but the numbering is on the front

Series 2 Topps evidently is hope of the relic parallels.  Series 1 didn’t have the diamond versions /99 just as 2010 didn’t have Blue in series 1.  I’m not one to pick up your average relic online, so I don’t have the normal version of either year. I simply can’t rationalize paying $3 to have a $1 relic sent to me.  I’d rather wait until I’m able to go to a card show to find the more basic model. Or maybe even get lucky with a trade.  Also of note is the drastically different material.  I wonder if one is jersey and the other is pants.  Why should the card say?

Do not adjust your set

I bought way too much heritage when it first came out considering I had no intention of collecting the set.  In all my purchasing I didn’t see a single Carlos Marmol (who is an SP to be fair, although that’s not fair to me), or a Ryan Dempster.  Then I found out about the tint variations.  I’m in that unfortunate position of having a player collection fall into that range of tinted cards.  I snagged this online when they were plentiful, but still probably overpaid.


Of course Wal-Mart and Target need to have their special parallels, which are a butt-ram to collect.  That’s a collecting term, right?  This target variant is so deeply red it makes it look like Ry-Ry is back playing with the Reds. Luckily, that’s not the case.  Still, not a fan of this card.  The Wal-Mart blue tint has been tougher to find, although I haven’t been looking in a long while.

Did you get my letter? No?

Sometimes when a product first hits the online auction house, prices are inflated.  If you swoop in at the right time, you can pick a few things up after the impatients begin their regret/shame eating for a less-wallet busting price.  You don’t want to wait too long, because things like this framed stamp will dry up and prices will start to climb again.  Lucky for me, no one wants Dempster or Chris Young cards.

That's because I forgot to STAMP it!

Each player has 2 different stamp cards.  As you can see, the pairings are totally unrelated.  I have both for Dempster, I still need one for Marmol and I need both Dempster stamps from last year.  2010 Heritage were /50 and this year there were more of them (I think) and they are /62.  No wonder I finished this off so soon.  Unfortunately, I had to fork a little more over thanks to horse-face’s following.  Giddy-up!

Not the target version

I’m really upset with the Target update parallels.  I don’t like that they match this look exactly.  What’s wrong with the throwbacks?  At least start the red border in 2012 if you’re going to change it.  This is the factory set exclusive.  Someone bought a sealed set with a random pack of red border cards /245 and priced it just right.  These are tougher to come by than the numbering indicates since so many sets remain sealed.  This one was freed, and is now locked up again in my collection.

These were all purchased months ago, but I think I’m done buying Dempster cards for the year.  I’m in money conservation mode now.  I still have none of his Gypsy Queen, A&G or Bowman cards.  Oh well.  Surprisingly, he wasn’t in Chrome so I don’t need to worry about that rainbow too.

I’ve lucked out with his pictures on Topps these past two years.  I hope the trend will continue in 2012, but really I’m just happy that he’ll be pictured as a Cub again.

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