BOSTON -- Ryan Dempster moved around so seamlessly in the Red Sox's clubhouse on Friday morning, it was easy to forget he ever left.
Though Dempster announced back in Spring Training he wouldn't throw a pitch in 2014 and might retire altogether, he wasn't going to miss the ring ceremony to commemorate the 2013 World Series champions.
"It's a little weird, but it's all good," said Dempster. "It's just fun to be back here. I feel like a kid at Christmas time and I can't wait to go get this ring."
Though his teammates all made him feel at home, Dempster admitted it felt a little strange to be at Fenway as an inactive player.
"It's something I've done my whole life, so to step away from this and not be playing is different," Dempster said. "At the same time, the guys have been unbelievable. [Manager] John [Farrell] and everybody have let me be around a little bit, so I can kind of wean myself off it instead of going cold turkey."
Earlier this week, Dempster declined an opportunity to be at the ceremony at the White House, but he had good reason.
"It was my daughter's fifth birthday," said Dempster. "I'm not going to miss that. The president had to wait."
Sure, Dempster misses the camaraderie of being in the clubhouse on a daily basis and the competition of pitching every fifth day. But he is confident he made the right decision.
"I've already planned my golf trips in the summer and I get to go camping for the first time since I was 15," said Dempster. "I've done a lot of fun things and I get to be around my kids a whole bunch, which is really cool. My son is excited that he still gets to come to the field. That's the most important thing I think."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.