You never know what you’ll see at spring training, and a diamond in Cubs camp provided more proof of that on Wednesday.
Theo Epstein, the Cubs’ president of baseball operations, traded in his briefcase for a batting helmet and took some cuts against former major-league right-hander Ryan Dempster. And he made contact:
According to CSN Chicago, Epstein even talked some trash, telling him: “I know I can’t hit big-league pitching, but I’ll see if I can hit you.”
So how would Epstein grade his performance? He summed it up afterward in an email to ESPN:
“Third at-bat, ground single to left or groundball to short — depends who’s playing shortstop. Fourth at-bat, opposite field double. It was crushed, so I pimped it. Last at-bat, Demp wised up and threw me all splits and punched me out swinging. He still has a good split. And I still know my place … upstairs!”
Dempster, who last played in the majors in 2013 and currently works as a special assistant to Epstein, will pitch for Canada in this month’s World Baseball Classic.