Boston Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster paid twice for hitting Alex Rodriguez in the back with a pitch Monday night. First, when A-Rod took him deep for a home run and again when Major League Baseball fined him an undisclosed amount and suspended him for five games.
“You just can’t throw at someone because you don’t like him or disagree with the way something’s being handled,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “If a player is suspended for throwing at someone, they’re going to get their appeal. Are we going to throw that out, too? So, I mean, this is what’s been negotiated.”
The “appeal” Girardi mentioned is a reference to Rodriguez’s appeal of his 211-game suspension on Aug. 5 for violating baseball’s drug and labor agreements. Rodriguez is allowed to play during the appeal.
“It sucks any time you get suspended, it’s not a fun feeling to have,” Dempster said. “[Not appealing] has to do with just taking my suspension and putting it [in the] past. There’s no point in carrying out an appeal process. We’ve got other things to worry about.”
“You can express your opinion and be upset with someone but you just can’t start throwing baseballs at people,” said Girardi, who was hit in the face as a player. “It’s scary.”
Dempster’s five-game punishment will not impact Boston’s pitching rotation, which does not sit well with the Yankees.
“If you suspend a position player three games, he misses three games. You can suspend a pitcher five games, even six games and they may not miss a start if the off days come into play,” Girardi said. “That’s why I think the off days have to be taken into account when you make a suspension.”
Dempster denied that he had any personal problems with Rodriguez. “I don’t really know Alex much,” he said.
After Rodriguez was hit on Sunday night, Girardi sprinted onto the field, screaming at home-plate umpire Brian O’Nora for not ejecting the pitcher. Girardi was tossed as the benches and bullpens emptied. Girardi said it was the most upset he’s been on a baseball field.
“One of the reasons I was so upset is … I mean that baseball is a weapon,” he said. “It’s not a tennis ball or it’s not an IncrediBall that’s soft. It’s a weapon and it can do a lot of damage to someone’s life.”