PITTSBURGH -- A crazy week for Ryan Dempster ended Wednesday with a 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh and a dugout tirade after being removed from the game after six innings.
Dempster tossed an energy drink bottle, a cooler lid and threw a cooler before stalking off the dugout when manager Dale Sveum sent Scott Maine out to pitch the seventh inning.
The normally talkative Dempster was reluctant to discuss the episode afterward.
Was Dempster surprised at being removed?
"Yeah," he replied.
Was that why he was so upset in the dugout?
"Yeah," he replied.
Was he still upset?
"No, I'm OK," he said. "I'm fine. I'm allowed to be upset. I respect (Sveum) a lot. That's his decision. It doesn't mean I have to be happy about it. At the end of the day, he's just trying to do what's best for the ballclub. I have nothing but respect for that. Just the competitor in me wants to get out there and keep trying to pitch."
Dempster said he was upset that he gave up the lead.
"That's all it was," he said. "I've been taken out of plenty of games, so it's not a big deal."
Sveum said he was "sure" Dempster didn't want to come out of the game, but said to ask him about the episode.
"People are competitive, and sometimes they're going to get upset about things, you know?" he said.
Asked if that was the first Dempster tirade under him, Sveum laughed and replied: "Maybe visible."
Dempster knew it was a "really strong possibility" that this was his final start as a Cub. He conceded the week has been "a grind," but that he's "getting pretty used to it now."
He woke up from a nap Monday to hear rumors he had been traded to Atlanta, then said he was discussing his "options."
Atlanta Braves general manager Frank Wren said Wednesday that a proposed Dempster deal with the Chicago Cubs is "highly unlikely," while telling a radio station that the parameters of the deal expired Tuesday and they've "moved on."
Dempster said he "respects Frank Wren a lot" from his days in Florida when Wren worked for the Marlins.
"They also have a job to do, which is to better their team," he said. "They can't worry about waiting around for me to make my decision. I understand that fully, and if that's still an option down the road, that's something I'm going to look at. I'm going to try and make the best decision for me and my family."