Dempster pushing to return before the All-Star break


Dempster pushing to return before the All-Star break

ATLANTA Talking last month on the South Side, Jake Peavys advice to Ryan Dempster went like this: Make sure its ready.

The circumstances and extent of the injury are different. The Cubs had placed Dempster on the disabled list with a sore right lat muscle, to get out in front of it. The White Sox ace had pitched through severe pain, before undergoing a radical surgical procedure in 2010.

But Dempster felt good enough after throwing a regular bullpen session on Wednesday at Turner Field that he hoped to convince the Cubs to start him before the All-Star break.

I think they trust me to make the right decision, Dempster said. I also dont want to go out there on a 50-pitch limit. That doesnt do us any good.

Of course, it wont entirely be up to Dempster, whod like to throw on Sunday at Citi Field against the New York Mets. But Dale Sveum wouldnt rule it out. The manager said two or three starting pitchers could be available out of the bullpen for that game, the final one before a four-day break.

Dempster hadnt thrown off the mound in more than two weeks when he began Mondays bullpen session. Depending on how he feels in the morning, it could be all systems go.

Not everybodys Ryan Dempster, Sveum said. Hes so in tune with his mechanics and his arm and how he feels. Its at the point where its not like wed leave him out there for 110 pitches or something either. Hes feeling as good as he ever does. Thats the kicker.

This comes at a time when the Cubs are expected to become aggressive sellers on the trade market. When Dempster went on the disabled list on June 18, he had pitched 22 consecutive scoreless innings. He has no-trade rights and is positioned to become a free agent at seasons end, but first has to show hes healthy.

Theres always risk when youre talking about a guy with an injury, but, again, well kind of evaluate it and well go from there, pitching coach Chris Bosio said. He looks good, but were talking about a guy thats been on the DL for a little bit. So theres always risk and concern, especially with a guy thats throwing the ball so well this year.

(Well) come up with a smart decision. We dont want to put anybody at risk. We never do that. But at the same time, you really want your guys to want to get back out there.

The night before, after another disappointing start from Chris Volstad, Sveum said the Cubs would run him out there again because they didnt have any other options.

Now Dempster appears to be back in the picture, perhaps for his final days in a Cubs uniform. He has a 2.11 ERA in 12 starts made around a quad injury and the lat issue. Theres the thought that the Cubs might not want this hanging over their All-Star break.

Theres no question about it, it would be good for him, Sveum said. (Outside the injuries), everythings been about as good as you can imagine on the mound. But I think it would be good for his own psyche, too, to get him out there.

Theo Epstein’s dog damages Arizona rental property with excessive urine

USA Today

Theo Epstein’s dog damages Arizona rental property with excessive urine

In the midst of an intensive hiring process for the new Cubs manager, Theo Epstein is being sued by an Arizona couple claiming Epstein’s dog, Winston, damaged their house. The cause of damage? Peeing excessively inside the property Epstein rented for spring training in 2015.

Yes, you read that right, Epstein’s dog peed so much he’s being sued.

The lawsuit was filed this Tuesday in Maricopa County, according to the Phoenix New Times, citing Epstein’s dog left “a terrible odor and urine-stained carpeting” in the Paradise Valley, Ariz., home where he and his family stayed.

Winston is a rescue mutt, weighing in at around ten pounds. He can’t pee that much, right?

The lawsuit states the dog "peed prolifically in the $1 million house, staining tile and stone flooring, wood door jams, cabinets, and furniture."

John and Mary Valentino referenced a 2017 quote by Epstein as proof that Winston had a peeing problem. When asked about being named the world’s greatest leader by Fortune magazine after the Cubs 2016 World Series win, Epstein said: “I can’t even get my dog to stop peeing in the house.”

Epstein left the rental property two weeks early due to a scorpion infestation later was shown a repair estimate of $51,405, according to the report.

Julian Green, the Cubs vice president of communications, told the New Times the lawsuit was “baseless.” He also said that an exterminator discovered 45 scorpions on the property that “put (Epstein’s) family at risk every time they put their children to sleep.” The Epsteins moved into a different house for the last two weeks of spring training.

The owners kept the $5,000 security deposit, and according to a source the Epsteins did not hear from them again for more than four years until the suit was filed Tuesday.

When asked about the lawsuit, Epstein replied, “As I said, we have no untouchables. Winston is definitely available in the right trade.”

We’ll be keeping tabs on this story as it unfolds. In the meantime, it’s good to see Epstein still has a sense of humor, even with a dog urine lawsuit and a Cubs managerial search on the line.

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Blackhawks honor Dave Bolland with “One More Shift” Friday

Blackhawks honor Dave Bolland with “One More Shift” Friday

Former Blackhawks forward Dave Bolland will be honored with “One More Shift” on the ice at United Center this Friday prior to Hawks matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Bolland will stand with the team during the National Anthem and skate on ice in full gear. Along with time on ice, the United Center will also honor Bolland by showcasing his career highlights throughout the arena.

The Blackhawks will be celebrating the 10 year anniversary of their 2010 Stanley Cup win at five games this season, coinciding with “One More Shift” nights to honor individual players.  The United Center Atrium doors will open at 4pm, giving fans a chance to look at the interactive photo opportunities and historical items on display. Bolland will participate in a Q&A in the atrium at 6:30 p.m. before he hits the ice.

Dave Bolland was drafted by the Blackhawks in 2004 and spent ten seasons of his NHL career in Chicago. Bolland played with the team during two Stanley Cup championships, scoring the game-winning goal in the final minute of Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals against the Bruins. Bolland played in all 22 playoff games in 2010, garnering 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) which shared fifth among Blackhawks skaters in the postseason. Bolland recorded his best season of his career during the 2008-09 campaign with the Blackhawks, skating in a career-high 81 regular-season games and recording career highs in goals (19), assists (28) and points (47).

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