Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Ryan Dempster has officially received a five-game suspension from Major League Baseball for intentionally throwing at and hitting New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez on Sunday night. Yankees manager Joe Girardi was also fined for his argument with umpire Brian O’Nora following the incident.
It was the right move for Major League Baseball. If the league hadn’t suspended Dempster it would have been sending the message that throwing at a batter intentionally was acceptable. Dempster clearly targeted Rodriguez at least twice in the at bat in question and absolutely deserved to be suspended. In my opinion, he should have been ejected too, and that’s coming from someone who can’t stand what Alex Rodriguez represents.
During the at bat, Dempster threw the first pitch towards Rodriguez’s shins but it went behind him. He then threw two pitches inside that missed the strike zone. On the 3-0 pitch, he hit Rodriguez in the shoulder, which caused O’Nora to warn Dempster and both benches. Girardi came tearing out of the dugout to argue the fact that Dempster hadn’t been ejected and the Yankees manager thrown out himself fairly quickly.
You can watch video of the entire incident here.
Both benches emptied, but to Rodriguez’s credit he didn’t charge the mound or say anything to Dempster, he just walked to first base. He had to know something like that was coming eventually, and frankly, he handled himself very well. And, again, that’s coming from someone who doesn’t like the man.
Several players throughout the league have claimed that Rodriguez shouldn’t be playing because he is facing a 211-game suspension. He is allowed to play because under the current rules, he has the right to an appeal and can be on the field until his appeal is heard and a ruling is rendered.
Since the incident Girardi has argued that despite what people may think of Rodriguez, he does have the right to an appeal and has the right to play during it. had the following to say about what happened:
“You can’t just throw at someone if you don’t like him or disagree with the way something’s being handled. If a player is suspended for throwing at someone, they’re going to get their appeal. Are we going to throw that out to? So I mean, this is what’s been negotiated.”
Girardi was fined $5,000 and Dempster 2,500, and given that the Red Sox have a few days off between now and when Dempster’s suspension will be over, he may not actually miss a start.