NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Red Sox starting pitcher Ryan Dempster was suspended for five games and fined for intentionally hitting Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez in the second inning this past Sunday night at Fenway Park.
But one of Dempster’s teammates — arguably the face of the franchise — doesn’t approve of what he did.
“I didn’t like it,” designated hitter David Ortiz told USA TODAY Sports. “I don’t think it was the right thing to do. But we don’t all think alike, and the guy who did it — Dempster — is a great guy.”
Dempster was not ejected from the game, but Yankees skipper Joe Girardi — who came out to defend his third baseman — was tossed.
A-Rod got the ultimate payback, homering off Dempster in the sixth inning and starting a rally that led to an important victory for the Bombers.
Opposing pitcher CC Sabathia didn’t retaliate, as he would have been ejected himself had he hit a Red Sox batter.
“It’s not that I didn’t think it was right because Alex and I are friends, because once you cross the white lines, everyone’s on their own,” Ortiz told the newspaper. “But we’ve got Tampa right on our heels, and that pitch woke up a monster in the Yankees at that moment.
“You saw how the game ended up. CC Sabathia was throwing 91 (mph) and started throwing 96. Alex later hit one way out there. You’re talking about a good team that you can’t wake up. But we learn from our mistakes.”
Girardi, who screamed at home-plate umpire Brian O’Nora following the incident, later said that he had never been more upset on a baseball field.
“One of the reasons I was so upset is … I mean, that baseball is a weapon,” Girardi told reporters. “It’s not a tennis ball or it’s not an IncrediBall that’s soft. It’s a weapon and it can do a lot of damage to someone’s life.”
After the game, Rodriguez offered some comic relief when asked if Dempster should be suspended for his actions.
“I’m the wrong guy to be asking about suspensions, holy mackerel,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve got an attorney I can recommend.”
Rodriguez is currently appealing a 211-game suspension handed down by MLB for his ties to the Biogenesis of America clinic.
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