I've never been a fan of Ryan Dempster and I haven't been shy about expressing this. Before Ben signed Dempster, he looked like a veteran starter whose talents were fading quickly - and Dempster didn't do anything in 2013 to change my opinion of how he plays. But Dempster did change my opinion of him as a player today when he announced that he doesn't feel like he's capable of pitching in 2014.
Contrast Dempster's announcement today with the eight month long circus/circle jerk Derek Jeter is about to bring to baseball. To Jeter, it's all about him: he wants a farewell tour, he wants the accolades, he wants all the praise, he wants the ego-stroking, and he knows he's going to get it. It doesn't matter that there are things Jeter could have done over the years to improve his team, like switching positions or, in this case, retiring immediately. Jeter is all about Jeter.
Ryan Dempster, however, is for his team. The 2014 Red Sox would have been worse with Dempster on the roster, perpetually in limbo between the bullpen and starting rotation because he's being paid like a starter but he's arguably the sixth best starter on the 40 man roster. Dempster knew that he wouldn't be able to perform well this season, and instead of taking $13.25 million in salary that he was guaranteed to, essentially, embarrass himself, he left millions on the table for the good of his team. I'll remember this action a lot more than a beanball to A-Roid.
This is how you leave baseball with respect and dignity. I wish somebody would tell this the Jeter, but he probably wouldn't hear it over the sound of him wanking to himself.