Ryan Dempster loves Chicago just like you. Ryan has a family just like you. He also found himself in a situation at his job just like many of you.
Last week, his employer, the Chicago Cubs, called him into the office and told him his job was being transferred to another city and asked him to consent. This is a life-changing event for anyone. And understandably Dempster didn't want to go, or at least not yet. He needed to think. He needed to talk to his family.
If Dempster was an accountant or a plumber or an office manager, this process would be understood by everybody. But Dempster is not one of those. He's a multimillionaire, professional baseball pitcher. And if you listen to the fans on talk radio and around Chicago, apparently to many, this fact makes the human emotions of being transferred to another city by your employer void. Of course he must go immediately. He must pack his bags and arrange for his family while he's in Atlanta, the reported city. Move and perform your new job as if nothing happened. Why? Because you make a lot of money and your employment is playing a sport.
This thinking is wrong. Ryan Dempster did what any one of us would have done.
He first said yes, then thought differently. His emotions went back and forth. He thought about not only this year, but the years to come. Where did he want to move his family? Where was it best for him to take care of his special needs daughter? The city that he thought was best one night, wasn't the next night, and back and forth.
''All I said was that I just, at that time, needed to think about everything," Dempster told the Chicago Sun-Times. "Whether you're single, married, divorced, kids, no kids, you've got to think about a lot of things if you're going to [consider a decision] to leave.''
Many Americans across the country know this feeling all too well. Some don't even have a choice. It's either move or accept a layoff. Moving is such a dramatic event that some even choose the layoff over the prospect of moving.
Ryan Dempster has been what every Chicago fan should want on their team. He loves the team he plays on through good and bad, mostly bad. He loves the city that you grew up in. He's a pillar in the community. And by the way, he has an ERA just above 2.
It's completely understandable that you, the Cub fan, want to move on from the veteran players to get the rebuilding underway. You want the prospects so they can develop in the Cubs system now, not next year. But Ryan Dempster had given this team and this city enough over the last nine years to give him the benefit of the doubt that he wouldn't hurt this team on purpose.
Dempster had only days to decide, some reports say a day. But unlike you, the news of his job transfer was made public nationally before it was even official. It doesn't appear this is the fault of the Cubs organization. They've been tight-lipped and publicly respectful of Dempster during this situation.
But it was reported nationally as an official trade nonetheless. The prospects coming to the Cubs way were even named. Atlanta Braves pitching prospect Randall Delgado, Dempster's replacement, was talked about as the future of Cubs starting rotation. Goodbye Dempster, hello Delgado. Problem was that Dempster was still in a Cubs uniform. He had to go to his Twitter account to clear up the confusion:
It came from everywhere. And it came fast. When he hesitated, fans ranted that he was ruining the team he loves. He was accused of not wanting to win. He was told that he was selfishly thinking of himself. And if he didn't do what everyone else wanted him to do, he was letting everyone else down.
At the end of the trading deadline it was announced Ryan Dempster will no longer be a Chicago Cub. He will be moving his family to Texas. He will start his new job as soon as he arrives. He will meet his new co-workers. He will miss his old ones. His life still won't be settled. He will still miss the place he just left.
Just like you.
Follow Michael Tomaso on Twitter: www.twitter.com/michaeltomaso