During the August 18th Sunday Night Yankees-Red Sox game on ESPN, Boston pitcher Ryan Dempster decided to take matters into his own hands with regards to Alex Rodriguez and his looming suspension from Major League Baseball. Many players like Dempster have been outspoken with their displeasure that a player such as A-Rod is still eligible to play during the appeal of a suspension. As a result, Dempster decided that he would intentionally hit A-Rod with a pitch to settle the score on the field.
Dempster displayed a complete lack of talent with his pitiful excuse of a pitching performance, giving up 7 earned runs in 5 and 1/3 innings as his win/lose record fell to an embarrassing 6-9. But more importantly, Dempster’s horrific sportsmanship was also on full display for the entire world to witness. Whether one agrees with A-Rod’s ethics or not, by rule he is allowed to play for the Yankees until the appeals process is over. These are the current rules of the collective bargaining agreement as agreed to by both the owners and players. Therefore, this vitriol displayed by Dempster is completely un-founded and illogical: if Dempster and others don’t like the current format of rules and regulations regarding this matter, then why did these players even agree to these parameters in the first place?
Furthermore, if Dempster is willing to intentionally throw pitches at A-Rod and take cheap shots at a player due to questionable ethics, where does this cycle stop? Will the vigilante-minded Dempster now take it upon himself to throw at all players involved in off-field transgressions? By this logic, any player with a DUI arrest, domestic assault charge, or un-lawful possession of a firearm conviction may be subjected to a beaning from Dempster. If this pattern continues, Dempster will eventually become the designated bullpen goon who polices the game of baseball by throwing at players who he doesn’t like. After all, it’s not like Dempster has the ability to remain in the starting rotation for much longer anyway.
Unfortunately, Dempster wasn’t the only un-savory character who displayed awful decision making during this contest. Home plate umpire Brian O’ Nora should have ejected Dempster after the A-Rod beaning because it was blatantly obvious that the pitch was on purpose. Instead, Dempster was actually allowed to remain in the game after the incident. After a failed attempt to hit A-Rod on the first pitch, and two more high and tight pitches, Dempster showed no interest in legitimately pitching to A-Rod during the entire sequence. Yankee manager Joe Girardi had every right to be upset with O’Nora’s decision to issue a warning to BOTH teams when the Yankees did nothing wrong to begin with. At the very least, O’Nora should have allowed the Yankees to retaliate against the Red Sox before issuing a warning to both sides. Furthermore, Yankee batters were hit by pitches three more times after the initial warning was issued and yet no Boston pitchers were ejected.
Red Sox manager John Farrell also displayed embarrassing sportsmanship by sticking up for Dempster’s actions. By insisting that Dempster did nothing wrong and that the pitch hitting A-Rod was an honest mistake, Farrell looks like the biggest bulls**t artist on God’s green earth. How dare Farrell insult our intelligence as sports fans to imply that there was no intent by Dempster to intentionally hit Alex Rodriguez. Farrell’s blatant disregard for reality is comical and offensive at the same time. By following baseball’s bro code of sticking up for one’s own players no matter what, Farrell comes off looking like a complete reject of epic proportions.
Finally, the Boston fans who cheered as A-Rod got plunked should be ashamed of themselves. How would they like it if one of their own PED using superstar players got intentionally thrown at because of a checkered past? (ie Manny Ramirez) A-Rod’s towering 6th inning home-run to straight away center-field was very refreshing for me to watch mainly due to the pitiful display of sportsmanship from everybody involved at Fenway Park. As A-Rod gained a large measure of revenge against the under-whelming Ryan Dempster, I found myself oddly enough, sympathetically rooting for Alex. I admire and respect the laser like focus that is needed from A-Rod to concentrate and produce in this chaotic environment.
I am not trying to take A-Rod off the hook with this article and paint a picture of him as an innocent victim. The never-ending sage with Alex Rodriguez was mostly created by himself, so this is the bed he made for himself to lay in. It was his decision to use PED’s and now must face the negative backlash for the rest of his career. One can call A-Rod an overpaid cheater and it is a completely accurate statement. But when some holier-than-thou baseball bo-zo like Ryan Dempster takes it upon himself to teach A-Rod a lesson, I will root for that overpaid cheater to smash a 500 foot moon-shot every single time he steps up to the plate.