Ryan Dempster’s Struggle with Baseball Fever Turns Out to Be Gonorrhea
April 13, 2009
(Milwaukee, WI) – The Chicago Cubs took it to the Milwaukee Brewers last night, winning the rubber game of the series 8-5. Starting pitcher Ryan Dempster threw well enough for the win, but was erratic at times. It looked as though he was perhaps too amped up to pitch under control.
After the game, Dempster confirmed that his excitement over baseball being back was at least part of the problem.
“Yeah, I had trouble staying calm and under control, but maybe not for the reasons you think,” Dempster said after the game.
“It all started in January,” he explained. “I was getting the itch. And as Spring Training started, and wore on, the itch became a burning. A burning passion for baseball, and I knew I had baseball fever.”
But then the burning didn’t stop once the season started, Dempster says. And the burning wasn’t so much the internal, metaphorical kind of burning you would expect to be associated with the strong desire to play a sport. It was a painful burning that Dempster experienced physically. When he urinated.
“It’s just one of those wacky coincidences. I met this fan in the offseason, and she was nuts about the Cubs and about baseball. We went out a few times, and shared some, you know, intimacy. Her excitement about baseball was totally infectious. And I guess I kind of thought she had actually infected me with baseball fever.”
Instead, Dempster had been infected with a particularly nasty strain of gonorrhea.
“Looking back, it was a little silly. She kept trying to tell me that strange sores were ‘pitcher pox,’ and she got them whenever she was with a really great pitcher. It turned out she was battling a pretty serious herpes outbreak. Fortunately I avoided that, but I got the gonorrhea pretty bad.”
So while that explains the fever Dempster was feeling, how will it affect his performance?
“I’ll be fine. My doctor gave me some pills to take, and I’m not allowed to get too excited out there on the mound. I’m also not allowed to confuse actual, debilitating illnesses for colorful characterizations of sports enjoyment. So let me say clearly, I do not merely have a ‘need for speed,’ I have a touch of lupus.”
Now that Dempster has battled baseball fever that turned out to be a sexually transmitted disease, he says he knows how to watch out for the signs. And frighteningly for Cubs fans, he says he’s worried about one of his teammates.
“People see [Carlos] Zambrano jumping around and screaming out there on the mound and assume he’s just really passionate about the game. All I’m saying is that you’d be jumping around and screaming, too, if you looked like an episode of ‘Deadliest Catch’ down there, you know?”