No matter how you feel about Alex Rodriguez, what happened last night is inexcusable. Ryan Dempster not only threw at A-Rod but, even worse, on a 3-0 count. He should be suspended for the rest of the season.
Joe Girardi said it best.
“You can’t start throwing at people,” Girardi said. “Lives — people have had concussions. Lives are changed by getting hit by pitches. Whether I agree with everything that’s going on, you do not throw at people and you don’t take the law into your own hands. You don’t do that. We’re going to skip the judicial system? It’s ‘My Cousin Vinny.’ “
He is correct. No matter how you feel about throwing at a player on purpose, it is outright WRONG. Players have suffered injuries and concussions from being hit by pitches. As a pitcher, you are trusted every time you step on the mound with an object that can kill or injure someone if you hit a player in the right place.
I will not justify what A-Rod has done. He lied. He tried to cheat the game by getting an advantage by using steroids. He should face a suspension (not 211 games, but that’s for a different article for a different day) but shouldn’t have to worry about stepping up to the plate and being beamed by an 85+ mph pitch.
With reports coming out now that Dempster had spoken about how he planned to hit A-Rod when he faced him on Sunday, just shows that this was premeditated. Furthermore this shows why he should be suspended for the rest of the year.
With the sensitive issue we are dealing with, the Umpire made the wrong move by just “warning” both benches and then tossing Girardi out of the game for coming to the defense of A-Rod. Dempster should’ve been tossed considering the count was 3-0.
If baseball shows an injustice by issuing a small suspension or none at all, it will just go to show that baseball is OKAY with putting a man’s career in jeopardy at the plate. Who’s to say this won’t happen again? Who’s to say that next time the guy throws at his head? No one knows, but now with Dempster’s actions, we are here to play a game of “what if” with a player’s life.
Of course A-Rod had the ultimate redemption by hitting a solo shot off Dempster cutting the Red Sox’s led from 6-3 to 6-4. As he hit home plate, A-Rod stopped, clapped his hands together and pointed to the sky, taking a page out of David Ortiz’s book of celebrating HRs. The Yankees went on to take the lead and beat the Sox 9-6.
In the end I hope the commissioner makes the right decision and makes sure we don’t see Dempster on the mound for a while.