Ryan Dempster Does Right Thing in Drilling ARod, and Oddly, So Does ARod in Drilling a Dempster Fastball

by Kent Sterling

Alex Rogriguez winces as a Ryan Dempster fastball connects with his ribcage.

Alex Rogriguez winces as a Ryan Dempster fastball connects with his ribcage.

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is not just a cheater, but an ass.  Not only did he use PEDs, according to Major League Baseball’s investigation, his representatives have reportedly named names of others who used PEDs, and he continues to fight a suspension that is just.

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He continues to play for the Yankees until the appeal of the suspension is heard and ruled upon, so Boston Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster stuck a 92 mph fastball in his ribs last night during Rodriguez’ first trip to the plate in the top of the second inning.  Good for Dempster.  That’s baseball.

There is room for frontier justice in baseball, and Dempster as one of the best men in the game is the perfect judge, jury, and executioner to let Rodriguez know that not only is all not forgiven, forgotten, and normal – there is lasting resentment seared into the hearts of ballplayers for Rodriguez’ behavior.

Rodriguez is a pox on the game, and regular reminders that he has no business on a diamond are warranted.  If Commissioner Bud Selig can’t keep Rodriguez from playing, then pitchers can make it miserable for him.

A lack of respect for the games requires a consequence, and Dempster brought it as best his 36 year-old right arm could.

Rodriguez appeared stunned, hardly surprising given his relentless squirming and wriggling to avoid the penalty for the self-centered mopery represented by using PEDs.  Then he righted the ship, made a great swing in the top of the sixth, and hit a rocket deep into the Boston night for a home run.

That’s baseball.  There is no need for Joe Torre or Selig to insert themselves into this fracas.  Dempster acted, and Rodriguez reacted.  Each loudly made his point, and the conversation ended with Rodriguez getting the last word.

Baseball is a men’s game played by tough guys who have a strong set of beliefs.  Those beliefs have led Dempster to work harder raising money for charity and to give special children smiles than the combined work of most entire rosters, so if Dempster felt the need to reach back for a little extra to remind Rodriguez that there are people in the game who know a weasel when they see one – good for him.  Dempster has built enough equity to make that play if he feels it’s necessary.

And while we’re passing out plaudits, I liked Yankees manager Joe Girardi busting a gasket all over home plate umpire Brian O’Nora when he issued warnings to both benches after Dempster’s fourth inside pitch finally connected.  Girardi was passionate in his defense of a ballplayer he could easily and justifiably abandon.

Ironically, Girardi called for Dempster to be suspended during his postgame media gathering, “”I’ll be really disappointed if he’s not suspended where he misses a start. They have a lot of days off and you could finagle something, like if he took the suspension tomorrow if he got suspended he wouldn’t miss a start. It has to cost him something.”

“It has to cost him something,” probably captures the thoughts ringing through Dempster’s head as he made the decision to hit Rodriguez.

The Red Sox and Yankees have seven more games against each other this season, and while these relentless ESPN broadcasts of Yankees vs. Red Sox games are an annoyance to the rest of the country, the next one will be must-see-TV.

Justice was served last night, but the trial likely isn’t over.

8 thoughts on “Ryan Dempster Does Right Thing in Drilling ARod, and Oddly, So Does ARod in Drilling a Dempster Fastball

  1. beedogs

    I’m sorry, but you’re a jackass. Throwing at someone’s head is dangerous and Dempster should miss a start and pay a huge fine for his BS. Only an imbecile would think meting out “justice” by means of a 90 mph fastball near the head (not the ribs, it hit his shoulder) is appropriate “punishment”.

      1. Baseball Fan

        Agree with the commenter…YOU are the ASS! Throwing at someone is wrong! (and yes, I do dislike A-Rod as much as most people do). All those Boston fans who cheered at that action proved what everyone knows—Boston fans lack class. What example are they setting for all the children watching that game???

        1. kentsterling Post author

          Throwing at players has been a part of the game since A.G. Spalding pitched for the Cubs in 1876 – and before. Throwing at the head is wrong. Throwing at ribs or hind quarters is a part of the game, and it should be.

          In the absence of a meaningful penalty for cheating the game, Dempster was perfectly within his rights to hit Rodriguez, and I applaud him for doing it.

          I also applaud A-Rod – as nauseating as that is – for responding the way he did in taking Dempster deep in the 6th.

        2. Dirk

          You’re showing your naivete here Baseball Fan. Kent’s spot on here. A-Rod is a cheater and possibly a rat. I’m surprised he doesn’t get drilled more often.

          Why should Boston fans jeer a cheater? You suggesting they should canonize him for knowingly taking illegal supplements? You should be more concerned about why a confirmed cheater is allowed to continue to play and how that impacts the children watching the game.

  2. Pauly Balst

    I wonder how gutsy Dempster would be if he were still in the National League knowing he was going to get drilled in the ribs his next at bat.

    1. kentsterling Post author

      I doubt that would have affected Dempster’s decision at all. It’s not like pitchers are firing lethal bullets at hitters. It’s a baseball. You take your bruising and report to first base. I doubt many in baseball would have A-Rod’s back anyway.


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