Dempster wont point any fingers

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Dempster wont point any fingers

CINCINNATI Ryan Dempster understands what its like to walk off the mound alone, knowing that you cost your team the game.

Dempster did this job before, so he wasnt going to point fingers at Cubs closer Carlos Marmol after Thursdays 4-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds in 10 innings.

Dempsters eight scoreless at Great American Ball Park were ruined by Marmols meltdown in the ninth.

I know hes really struggling to find the strike zone and get where he needs to be, Dempster said. Hell get there. You just got to keep working hard and you got to push through it.

You got one of two ways to go: You can either back down and be afraid of the challenge, or you can take the challenge head-on. Hopefully, he does that.

On his 35th birthday, Dempster came off the disabled list and showed no signs of a quad injury and reminded everyone that he still has something left.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this was the first time in major-league history that two starting pitchers faced off on their birthday (Homer Bailey turned 26).

Dempster refuses to think in these terms, at least publicly. One of the most accessible players on the team doesnt want to hear about his age or contract status.

Dempster has tunnel vision, never looking beyond his next start. His timeline is always five days out.

Its fun, man, Dempster said. I feel really good out there. I just want to keep trying to do my job the best I can and give us a chance to win. Ill hopefully have more games like today. Thats all Im trying to do.

Dempster is making 14 million, has no-trade rights and can become a free agent at seasons end. He has a 0.95 ERA through four starts, and zero wins.

Itll come, he said.

Dempster has a kids enthusiasm for games, watching his friend Danny Briere and the Philadelphia Flyers practice last weekend in the middle of the NHL playoffs.

Dempster is generous with time and information, inviting younger pitchers to train with him in Arizona during the offseason. They say hes difficult to keep up with, showing them what it takes to stick at this level.

But Dempster said he had no plans to approach Marmol once the team got back to Chicago. He did offer another vote of confidence for the embattled closer.

I know how that goes, Dempster said. If he wants advice, Ill give him the best (advice) I can.

You just got to keep working hard. You cant give up. You cant try and will it to happen. You got to make it happen. That comes through hard work and hell do that. You just got to tackle it head-on and try to find a way to get it done.

The Cubs (9-16) will have to come up with something quick. Two of the best teams in the National League the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves are coming into Wrigley Field for a six-game stand that begins Friday.

We can either hang our heads and sulk, Dempster said, or we can accept what happened today and learn from it and move on and win a game tomorrow.

Dwyane Wade's near-miss of a triple-double caused by friendly Felicio fire

Dwyane Wade's near-miss of a triple-double caused by friendly Felicio fire

In a season where the triple-double has become commonplace to the point of stat chasing in the effort to chase history, Dwyane Wade didn't mind snatching his own piece of turf.

In a game where teammate Jimmy Butler reached the feat for the first time this season, it would've been doubly satisfactory for Wade to achieve the fifth triple-double of his career.

One rebound away in the final seconds of the Bulls' 117-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, the memo didn't reach Cristiano Felicio, who reached over Wade to grab a rebound, causing it to harmlessly fall out of bounds and ending Wade's chance at history.

After Wade finished with 20 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in 34 minutes, he was asked if he "hated" Felicio for interrupting his moment.

"No hate. Just a strong dislike, though," said Wade with a wry smile. "You know how long it's been since I had a triple double? It's been a long time."

It's been six years, as his last triple-double came in the 2010-11 season with the Miami Heat, achieving the feat with a 22-point, 12-rebound and 10-assist performance against the then-Charlotte Bobcats on Feb. 4, 2011.

Even more than the statistical feat was Wade's variety, as he grabbed seven rebounds in the decisive third-quarter run that broke the game open, hitting Butler and Bobby Portis for long touchdown passes that would've had Jay Cutler or whichever quarterback the Cleveland Browns are banking on next fall, blushing.

Perhaps even more impressive was the fact it was on the second night of a back-to-back with the Bulls winning in overtime against the Phoenix Suns—a game where Wade turned it up late then threw it down over Alex Len in overtime.

"I think we just found our groove," Wade said. "We've had some injuries that have gone on but we're playing good basketball."

More pointedly, so is Wade, aided by him often finding Felicio for easy dunks on the pick and roll as they play second and fourth quarters together. 

Felicio was clearly bothered by his gaffe, which was made worse by the take-no-prisoners approach from Wade and Butler. When a member of foreign media approached him about an interview, Felicio said "you're not asking me about that last rebound, are you?"

Later in the evening, Felicio went to Twitter, posting "I did not know!!" in reference to Wade's night.

"I told him I didn't not even gonna act like I ain't mad at him. I'm very mad at him," said Wade with a laugh. "But he's all good. He said he didn't see me down there. So he took a shot at my height. It's cool. Jimmy had one. It would've been nice to have two triple doubles."

"I'm sure a stat would've came out that would've said, ‘Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler are the first duo to get a triple-double on a back-to-back since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen', since they got every record around here."

He was close, although Jordan and Pippen didn't achieve their feat on a back-to-back but a random night in the 1988-89 season. Jordan scored 41 with 11 assists and 10 rebounds and Pippen had 15 with 12 assists and 10 rebounds in a 126-121 overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

"We laugh about that often, but it's all good," Wade said. "I gotta work harder till I get another one one day."

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