LOS ANGELES Ryan Dempster would have loved it here. Dodger Stadium gets loud and is filled with energy. Magic Johnson headlines a new ownership group that wants this to be Showtime.
Theres history everywhere, with pictures of Jackie Robinson and Vin Scully and all the old greats lining the walls. The weather and the dimensions are perfect for a 35-year-old pitcher.
Theres old friend Ted Lilly, who parlayed a 2010 deadline deal to Los Angeles into a three-year, 33 million contract. The Dodgers (59-50) are thinking about October, surging after completing a three-game sweep with Sundays 7-6 walk-off win over the Cubs.
Dempster didnt get what he wanted last week, and until HBO makes a definitive movie styled after Too Big to Fail, well never get inside the room, only settling for fragmented pieces of information.
But heres another twist: Sources said that Dempster was so hung up on the Dodgers that the Cubs told him to directly call Ned Colletti. Dempster spoke with the Los Angeles general manager just before the deadline eliminating that possibility and then accepted a trade to the Texas Rangers.
The Cubs denied a Chicago Tribune report that they let Dempster listen in on trade conversations without informing the Dodgers what would be a serious breach of ethics. But it clearly struck a nerve in the Cubs front office and revealed a Los Angeles perspective on the failed negotiations.
General manager Jed Hoyer who was the point man for dealing with the Dodgers reached out to Colletti on Sunday to explain the misunderstanding.
After watching a potential deal with the Atlanta Braves collapse once it leaked to the media, the Cubs brought Dempster into their new headquarters on Clark and Waveland for the final hour or so before the July 31 deadline.
Dempster who had 10-and-5 no-trade rights was hanging out in Hoyers office before the general manager had to kick him out and make a few phone calls. So Hoyer found Dempster another office with a television to watch the MLB Network.
The confusion came out of a group interview with Theo Epstein the day after. The team president was asked about Dempsters role in the negotiations and his relationship with the front office.
We were on great terms throughout the entire process, Epstein said. We joked about it every day. And in the end, once he came to our office and actually heard the conversations we were having with L.A., he realized: OK, maybe thats actually not going to happen.Let me consider a couple other places.
Epstein's answer to a follow-up question about Dempster actually being in the office listening in didnt make it clear whether he was in the building versus the actual room where Hoyer was on the phone.
It was an unusual situation, Epstein said then. But I think it was helpful to have him there. He could hear firsthand that it probably wasnt going to happen.
If someone really wants to go to a place, you can tell them over and over again its probably not going to happen. But unless theyre convinced of that, they may not want to move on to their second choice.
There were certain things he needed to hear.
So Dempster evidently went straight to the source, and got what he didn't want to hear.