3/30 Demp on Sveum: “He’s got more tattoos”

Ryan Dempster tuned up for Opening Day with 4 2/3 innings on Friday against the Dodgers. The right-hander gave up four hits and walked three.

“I’m looking forward to getting up to Chicago and getting this underway,” Dempster said.

The Cubs are not preseason favorites in the National League Central. That’s OK, Dempster said.

“We have a plan of what we want to do,” Dempster said. “We’ll go out and play the game the right way and play hard and let our talent take over. We’ve put in all this hard work the past six weeks and hopefully it turns into results on the field.

“Hard work and playing the game at a high intensity can make up for lack of talent a lot of times,” he said. “I know it has for me. I don’t have much talent but I try to work hard and play the game the right way. Sometimes it becomes contagious and a way to get the best out of each other.”

Dale Sveum has set the tone, Dempster said.

“He’s a great communicator,” Dempster said of Sveum. “He’s kept camp very loose but at the same time, asked us to work hard and I think we’ve done that. He’s given us respect and treated us like men and we’ve respected him back and put a lot of hard work in. He’s been a lot of fun to be around and you learn a lot. He’s always talking the game, always trying to figure out scenarios and what he can do best to help us win and we’re looking forward to the start of the regular season and go out there and win some games.”

How does Sveum compare to some of the other managers Dempster has played with?

“He’s got more tattoos than most of the managers I know,” Dempster said. “I can’t see Lou [Piniella] riding onto the field on a Harley.”

— Carrie Muskat

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