The Chicago Cubs completed their biggest trade of the season by sending Ryan Dempster to the Texas Rangers in exchange for the 1980s hit 'Gloria' being stuck in the right-hander's head.
Dempster put the Cubs in a bind last week when he used his 5/10 rights to waive a trade to the Atlanta Braves. The Cubs scrambled to trade one of the National League's most successful pitchers and finally found a suitor in the Texas Rangers.
While the process took weeks to complete, the Cubs lost out on an opportunity to land a big name prospect in the deal. Dempster's denial of playing with Atlanta gave the Cubs little leverage in the upcoming weeks.
With this dual between management and player at its highest level of friction, the Cubs waived getting a player in return for their trade with Texas. Instead, they had a better idea.
"I'm not gonna hold it in anymore, I'm pretty pissed," stated Cubs front man Theo Epstein. "Jed and I were talking and we got to the point where prospects didn't interest us. We wanted to get back at him for costing us talent. That's when I came up with the 'Gloria' idea."
'Gloria' was a one-hit wonder from 1982 by Laura Branigan. The catchy tune stayed in the Top 100 for 36 weeks. Choosing this particular track for the trade came from an experience Epstein had with the song in the previous week.
"I couldn't go anywhere without singing it," said Epstein. "In the shower, eating breakfast, at the Starbucks, on hold with other GMs, talking with other players...it was hell. I wouldn't wish it on anyone...well...only on one person."
That unfortunate person was Dempster, who was noticeably distracted at Tuesday's press conference. Dempster's thoughts were choppy at best.
"I know that the last couple weeks, Gloria...you're always on the run now. Running after somebo---, sorry. Sorry, Jimeny. Uh, Texas, yeah, the Rangers. Well, I'm going to a team in the middle of the pennant race. And you really don't remember. Are the voices in your head. Damn, what was I...oh, yeah. My time here has been great. My wife and I have been able to do, feel your innocence slipping away...don't think it's coming back soon. I know people were upset by what happened in Atlanta. But, you know, it was just one of those things where I felt But you really don't remember, was it something that they said, are the voices in your head, calling Gloriaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa."
'Demp' tried to get the song out of his head by joking with the media by doing his infamous Harry Caray impersonation. The moment will go down as the oddest version of 'Gloria' ever sung.
"Hello again, everybody! Welcome to beautiful...hey, who how about another Budweiser, Gloria? You're always on the run now. Hey, look at the kid in the big sombrero! If everybody wants you, why isn't anybody calling? Ooooh...Hey there, Steve. Did you know that Gloria backwards is Air Olg? That sounds like an airplane! Now pitching for the Cubs, Ryan Dempster. Dempster is a you don't have to answer, leave them hanging on the line, I hate Cracker Jacks! Holy Cow! Ryne Sandberg with a three run calling Gloriaaaaaa!"
"I'll be honest, it feels pretty good," said Cubs General Manager Jed Hoyer. "Personally, I wanted to use Branigan's other hit 'Self Control.' That song just makes me want to get down. You remember that song? You take myself, you take my self control! That's good music right there...No song in the history of the world has made me want to tussle my hair. Isn't that weird? I mean, honestly, who the hell tussels their hair? That gets me thinking, is 'hair tussling' something that's relegated to only 1980's dance videos? I don't know. Oooh! Plus, let's get this out of the way: Laura Branigan was not a one-hit wonder. She had a collection of hits. Did you know she originally performed, "How am I Supposed to Live Without You". You know? The Bolton song? Yeah, that was all Branigan. She was ahead of her time. Anyways, I digress. We thought about adding 'Self Control' to the playlist, but we thought giving him more than one song was too much of a reward. He waived his 5/10 rights? Well, guess what? Now he's got 5/10 rights. 5 years with this crappy song in his head and 10 years of regrets after we win a couple titles. I hope he likes the song."
Dempster wouldn't return Chicago Tough's phone calls. Reportedly, Dempster told the meida that he 'didn't have to answer' anymore to questions.