Ryan Dempster Suspended Five Games For Hitting Alex Rodriguez
Major League Baseball senior vice president Joe Garagiola Jr. announced the penalty against Dempster on Tuesday.
Dempster threw one pitch behind A-Rod’s knees and two more inside during the ball game at Fenway Park on Sunday, reports ESPN.
But while the first three pitches appeared to be intentional, there was no doubt the fourth one was. The Boston Red Sox starter hit A-Rod’s left elbow pad and ricocheted off his back.
Ryan Dempster announced that he will not appeal the five-game suspension, which will start on Tuesday night. New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi was also fined for his part in the game after he argued with umpire Brian O’Nora.
Despite hitting Alex Rodriguez, USA Today notes that Ryan Dempster wasn’t ejected from the game. However, the MLB’s punishment appears to show the umpire made the wrong decision.
After the game, A-Rod spoke to reporters about the incident. He commented of Dempster’s pitch, “Whether you like me or hate, that was wrong. That was unprofessional and silly. It was kind of a silly way to get someone hurt on your team as well.”
While Dempster insisted that he “was trying to pitch him inside,” it appears no one believed him. Instead, it is likely the 16-year MLB vet was trying to send A-Rod a message about his 211-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs.
But Major League Baseball made it clear with Dempster’s suspension that it alone will be the one to deal with A-Rod and his apparent violations. It wasn’t the first time a pitcher has intentionally hit a player accused of using PEDs either.
Former Houston Astros reliever Russ Springer admitted that he once hit Barry Bonds on purpose while Bonds was in the middle of a steroids scandal.
While Ryan Dempster was suspended for five games, the Red Sox are expected to compensate for the absence because of off-days in the schedule this week.