Gibsons Ryan Dempster was in the mix of the greatest rivalry in baseball — Red Sox vs Yankees — last Sunday night.
The Boston right-hander lost 9-6 to the Yankees in a heated game that saw Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez hit in the second inning, prompting the benches to clear, the umpire to issue warnings and Yankee manager Joe Girardi to be ejected after he argued with the ump, suggesting Dempster should have been ejected from the game instead of just being issued a warning.
Dempster plunked A-Rod with a 3-0 pitch as he led off the second inning. The ball struck his left elbow pad and ricocheted off his back. He started the at-bat by throwing behind A-Rod.
In an interview with Yahoo Sports, Dempster denied hitting Rodriguez intentionally. “I’m sure any hitter who hits a home run the next time up after you’ve been hit, it feels good,’’ said Dempster, who denied throwing at Rodriguez. “It’s just reality. It was unfortunate because it started the inning off with a run.”
Dempster pitched five-plus innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits with three walks and strikeout. With the loss, Dempster dropped to 6-9 on the season.
On Tuesday, Major League Baseball (MLB) issued Dempster a five-game suspension, but with Boston having a few off-days in its upcoming schedule, it is unlikely that Dempster will miss a start.
Interviews with Boston media late Tuesday afternoon said Dempster would not appeal and would start serving the suspension immediately.
MLB suspended Rodriguez on Aug. 5 for 211 games in the Biogenesis drug case. Under the collective bargaining agreement, Rodriguez has the right to appeal, which he has done. While he awaits for an arbitrator to hear the appeal, which will likely be in November or December when the season is over, he is allowed to play, which has prompted outcries by opposing players and fans throughout the league, with A-Rod booed lustily every at-bat on the road. That was no different last weekend when the Boston fans treated A-Rod to a “warm reception” in the three-game series, in which the Yankees took two games.
In his next at-bat leading off the sixth, A-Rod blasted a long solo home run to centre field that helped fuel a four-run Yankees’ rally that propelled them to the win. Dempster was pulled in the sixth inning before the Yankees scored the go-ahead runs. He was given a standing ovation by the Red Sox fans as he departed.
— With files from Yahoo Sports