A-Rod vs. Dempster – Embattled New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, still playing as he appeals his suspension, faced off last night against Boston Red Sox Pitcher Ryan Dempster. The starting pitcher plunked A-Rod with a pitch, reports ESPN on Aug. 19, touching off a dual bullpen-emptying brouhaha.
Earlier this month, Alex Rodriguez was suspended 211 games for using the drug HGH, produced by the Coral Gables, Fla. company Biogenesis of America. He is expected to play out the season as he appeals the suspension. A-Rod is the only player out of the 13 in total that were suspended for their roles in the scandal who appealed the decision.
In the second inning of the game between the Yankees and the Red Sox on Sunday, Dempster plunked A-Rod with a 92-mph fastball, intentionally, while the Fenway crowd in Boston chanted, “You're a cheater.”
Dempster clearly was trying to nail A-Rod and send a message – his first pitch was behind A-Rod, and his second two offerings were way inside. His fourth pitch hit Rodriguez on his left elbow.
The resulting dugout-emptying confrontation saw Yankees manager Joe Girardi be ejected from the game, and both benches issued warnings from umpire Brian O'Nora.
“Whether you like me or hate, that was wrong,” said Rodriguez after the game. “That was unprofessional and silly. It was kind of a silly way to get someone hurt on your team as well.”
Girardi had strong words regarding the incident.
“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.’”
“I was just trying to pitch inside.” He coyly said.
Rodriguez and the Yankees got their revenge though. In the sixth inning, Dempster and the Red Sox were nursing a three-run lead. A-Rod came to bat and hit a home run that started a four-run Yankees rally. New York ended up beating Boston 9-6.