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August 23, 2013

Baseball Therapy

Ryan Dempster, Alex Rodriguez, and Waking the Monster

by Russell A. Carleton


NYA @ BOS, 8/18/2013
Top of the 2nd
Rodriguez was hit by a pitch (3-0 count).

It's an innocent line in a game recap, but of course it was so much more than that. On Sunday Night Baseball (between—wouldn't you know it—the Yankees and Red Sox) at Fenway Pawk, Ryan Dempster had a pitch slip out of his hand and, unfortunately, strike the batter at the plate, thus entitling that batter to first base. He may or may not have been having difficulty with his pitch location on the first three pitches of the at-bat. Major League Baseball seems to think so, by virtue of the five-game suspension that it handed out over the matter. Apparently they believe that Dempster was trying to hit the batter, but couldn't quite aim it right.

Coincidentally, the batter at the plate was Yankees third baseman Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez. I think I heard something about his having been involved in something controversial lately. Not sure. Rodriguez's Yankees, who were down by two runs at the time, went on to win the game 9-6.

On Wednesday, Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz went on the record to say that he didn't appreciate his teammate's actions.

"I didn't like it. I don't think it was the right thing to do,'' Ortiz told USA TODAY Sports. "But we don't all think alike, and the guy who did it, Dempster, is a great guy. 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.

"But we've got Tampa right on our heels, and that pitch woke up a monster in the Yankees' team 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.''

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