BOSTON - Annually sprinkled among the myriad storylines which crop up at this very important time of the Major League Baseball season is that of the veteran player, he who has long performed at a high level and has long been good for the game, seeking an elusive World Series ring. Wholesale Air Max UK . Wouldnt you know it, with the American League Championship Series set to begin on Saturday night at Fenway Park, the host Red Sox and the visiting Tigers each have one of those guys. Canadian Ryan Dempster fits the bill. At 36 years old and in his first season in Boston, the native of Gibsons, British Columbia has made his money (more than $89 million over a 16-year career, according to baseball-reference.com;) has pitched at a high level (eight seasons with at least 10 wins - the fact he was a closer for four seasons makes the accomplishment more impressive;) and is regarded by both teammates and media as one of the more likable players in the sport. Anyone who was paying attention during Dempsters days with the Cubs remembers him out-Farrelling Will Farrells Harry Caray impression. He was also the closer on the 2007 Chicago team that was swept by Arizona in a Division Series. In 2008, by then more than four years removed from Tommy John elbow surgery, he reprised his role as a starter. He even got the ball in the first game of that seasons Division Series against the Dodgers. The Cubs, oh the lovable Cubs, were swept yet again. These days, Dempster has accepted a diminished role in the post-season. Hes pitching out of the bullpen for the first time since 2007, a move made in mid-September in anticipation of the playoffs. "It was funny, I remember getting called into the office right before we were playing the Blue Jays, that last series of the season with them and John (Farrell) and Ben (Cherington) pulled me in and we were talking about the possibility of me going to the bullpen for the playoffs and maybe getting me a few outings out of the pen just to get used to it again," Dempster told TSN.ca. "I dont know if they expected me to have a different response but I greeted it with open arms and looked at it like, hey man, at the time we had six starters throwing the ball really well and the realization was with my experience in the bullpen I was totally comfortable going down there." With Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz returning to pre-2012 form, with John Lackey back from Tommy John elbow surgery and throwing like the ace he was in Anaheim and with the mid-summer acquisition of Jake Peavy bringing his bulldog-like mound presence and nasty sinker ball, it was clear Dempster (8-9, 4.64, 1.453 WHIP in his first year in the American League East) wouldnt be getting starts come October. Thats okay, because its whats best for the team and in 2013, whats best for the team prevails in Boston. "From a pitching standpoint, weve got some tremendous starting pitchers," said Dempster. "Weve got a really strong bullpen and then we try to focus as hard on those things as we do the little things. The defence, the moving runners over, taking advantage on the basepaths. If you can do those little things, those are things that kind of help you set yourself apart from the other teams that youre playing." Torii Hunter is over there, in the other dugout, and he knows all about what Dempster has gone through (multiple playoff appearances, no titles) and what Dempsters anticipating now. Hes been to the playoffs nine times (five with the Twins, thrice with the Angels and currently with the Tigers,) and hasnt had a World Series appearance, let alone a championship, to show for it. This is his third ALCS appearance, the last of which came with the 2009 Angels. "To be back in the post-season and to get the chance to win a World Series ring, thats big for me," said Hunter, before joking, "Thats key for me because Im only 28 years old but its getting late." Typical Hunter. Big smile, cracking a joke, keeping those around him at ease. You stand there and believe he could actually be deriving enjoyment from this player availability session. Like Dempster, Hunter has made his money (almost $147 million over a 17-year career, according to baseball-reference.com;) hes played at a high level (.279/.335/.476 for his career;) and hes regarded as a good teammate and community guy, involved in numerous charitable endeavours. Last season Hunter, knowing with the emergence of Mike Trout and his own impending free agency that his days with the Angels were numbered, began keeping a mental notebook of teams around the league. He was trying to figure out where he would best fit and which team would best fit him. The Yankees were a legitimate option. Funny enough, so were the Red Sox. Both received strong consideration before Hunter inked a two-year, $26-million deal with the Tigers through 2014. "Do these guys need a right fielder?" said Hunter of one of his scouting criteria. "Do they need a two-hole guy or fifth-hole guy? I looked at the pitching staffs. If I didnt like facing those guys and I went 0-14, thats the team I wanted to play for and I did that a lot with the Tigers last year. I had a chance to look at all that and look at Scherzer and Verlander, Anibal coming back so I definitely took my chances with those guys." With strong starting pitching and potent offensive lineups, its difficult to predict with certainty which team will emerge victorious. One thing is clear, however: Only one of Dempster and Hunter will get a shot at that ring. Air Max UK Sale . Poti played in 824 regular NHL games with four teams in his career; the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, New York Islanders and the Washington Capitals. Air Max Clearance UK . PETERSBURG, Fla. http://www.wholesaleairmaxukoutlet.com/ . -- Sonny Grays fastball wasnt as sharp as it usually is, and the Oakland Athletics young pitcher even had a quirky replay go against him.MANCHESTER, England -- Chelsea delivered a potent mix of defensive resilience and effective counter-attacking in a 1-0 victory over Manchester City on Monday, neutralizing the Premier Leagues most rampant attack to provide a new twist in the title race. Branislav Ivanovic lashed home a fierce 25-yard shot in the 31st minute to end Citys 100 per cent winning record at home in the league and earn Chelsea the double over most pundits favourites for the title. The visitors could have won by more, hitting the goal frame three times and threatening almost every occasion they broke forward. It meant Arsenal returned to the top of the standings, with a two-point lead over City and Chelsea, in what is proving to be a thrilling title race. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho continues to rule his evolving team out of contention, but few will take him seriously after this performance. "Two horses and a little horse," was Mourinhos description of the title race, which has 14 more matches to run. "A little horse that still needs milk and to learn how to jump. A horse that next season can race." City has been the leagues thoroughbreds this season, winning all 15 of its domestic home games and scoring 115 goals in all competitions. Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham -- among others -- have all been crushed at Etihad Stadium this season. A win here would have put six points between City and Chelsea -- to many, the second favourites for the title, despite Mourinhos protestations to the contrary -- but its all to play for now. "I think that for Chelsea it was a decisive game, but not for us," City manager Manuel Pellegrini said. Mourinho is renowned around the football world as the master defensive strategist. Few will forget how his Inter Milan side nullified Barcelona in the 2010 Champions League semifinal at the Camp Nou, while Chelsea has already ground out 0-0 draws at Manchester United and Arsenal this season. It was different here, though. Chelsea counter-attacked with such pace and purpose, and hounded Citys much-lauded ball-players into sloppy mistakes, that the visitors could easily have won by three goals. Samuel Etoo hit the bar and the excellent Nemanja Matic and Gary Cahill struck the post. Bayern Munich is the only team to have beaten City at EEtihad Stadium this season and Chelseas supreme display had echoes of that dismantling in the Champions League back in September. Air Max UK Sale Outlet. It was the first time City failed to score at home in the league since November 2010 -- a streak of 61 matches. The home side badly missed injured top scorer Sergio Aguero but also holding midfielder Fernandinho, who was ruled out at the last minute with a muscle injury. Martin Demichelis -- a centre back -- filled in in central midfield and couldnt stop Chelseas midfielders running amok. "We love it -- we love the big games," said Mourinho, who revealed that he left the clubs masseur, Billy McCulloch, to do the pre-match team talk. "Obviously when you love it, maybe you feel extra motivated for that." Before Ivanovic put Chelsea in front, Ramires had a curling shot saved after running onto a pass from Willian, who had led a 4-on-1 attack on Citys beleaguered defence. The goal arrived soon after, with City captain Vincent Kompany diving to block Ramires shot but seeing the ball squirt out to Ivanovic, who drove a powerful first-time shot with his left foot into the bottom corner. And moments before halftime, Eden Hazard skirted round Pablo Zabaleta and crossed for Etoo to smash a shot against the top of the bar. Citys defensive frailties were being exposed but the hosts were also quiet -- by their standards -- going forward. Alvaro Negredo was virtually anonymous, although Pellegrini later said the striker wasnt 100 per cent, and the only attacking thrusts were provided by Yaya Toure, who curled one shot over, set up David Silva for a great chance that was glanced just wide and just missed a fizzing cross from Aleksandr Kolarov. Mourinho had City just where he wanted them -- and it almost got worse for Pellegrinis side when Matic strode forward and crashed a 30-yard effort against the post. Cahill then leapt to meet Willians corner with a header that cannoned off the post, further incensing the home crowd. City was reeling but finished strongly, with Silva denied by Petr Cech from a free kick then sidefooting wide from Kolarovs cross. And in the final seconds, substitute Stevan Jovetics long-range shot was tipped over by Cech. But Mourinho and Chelsea finally showed just how City can be stopped. 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