Aug 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (13) during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Why Ryan Dempster Is Not A Villain


What follows here probably won’t sit well with a lot of you but I applaud Ryan Dempster’s actions in last night’s Red Sox game.

Jul 21, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Ryan Dempster (46) pitches against the New York Yankees during the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

When Dempster decided to hit Alex Rodriguez with a pitch in the second inning he WAS sending a message for all of baseball that no one player is bigger than the game.  And that’s what A-Rod thinks he is- bigger than the sport.

How else do you explain his parade of lawyers and advisers and the way he is making himself look like an idiot by calling out Yankees management?  He is an attention whore at this point and nothing more.  HE did steroids, the Yankees didn’t instruct him to do so.  It is all just too much to take.  I’m glad Dempster decided to take matters into his own hands.

Do I believe Dempster and John Farrell when they say the plunking was not intentional?  Of course not. But what do you expect them to say- that it was intentional?

Dempster sent a message last night that a lot of players are indeed fed up with A-Rod and that all family business will be settled on the field.  I would not be at all surprised if this is just the start of A-Rod being intentionally thrown at by a lot of other pitchers.  The fact that it took this long for it to happen since A-Rod’s return is what shocks me.

My view on this is a departure from my normal feelings on pitchers intentionally throwing at hitters.  Normally, I would not condone it.

But A-Rod wants to be treated as a special case, so that should also apply here.

With his behavior in the last month or so, he is starting to take away the focus from the game on the field.  And that is not good for the sport.

In New York and every city he and the Yankees visit, steroids and the A-Rod circus are the number one topic, not the pennant race.  Fans are tired of it, opposing players are tired of it and I’m sure more than a few of A-Rod’s teammates are tired of it, though they’d likely never speak to it on the record.

Add to that the fact that A-Rod may have ratted out Ryan Braun and his TEAMMATE Francisco Cervelli regarding Biogenesis and you have a giant mess that baseball must quickly address.

Bud Selig needs to seriously consider getting this arbitration hearing for A-Rod pushed up so things can be resolved sooner rather than later.  If he doesn’t, every Yankee game from here on out risks being the clown show we saw last night.

Aug 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (13) returns to the dugout after being thrown out at first base during the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Collective bargaining agreement or not, this A-Rod circus is a distraction to the entire sport and if it took Dempster stepping up to be judge, jury and executioner to make people realize that this whole fiasco is a joke and damaging to the sport then so be it.  He should be applauded for it.

But Dempster should get suspended for his actions. He should have to pay a penalty even though in this ONE instance I think he did what needed to be done.

Fans who are outraged at Dempster’s actions are hypocrites.  They always say baseball players should settle their business amongst themselves on the field and that is exactly what happened here.   If Yankee fans want David Ortiz hit intentionally because he hits too many home runs, how are they any better?  Does the reason for a plunking matter all that much?  You can’t have it both ways.

Finally, this idea that Dempster hitting A-Rod cost the Red Sox a game that might cost them the division title doesn’t hold water with me.  If this scenario costs the Red Sox anything the rest of the season it will be because they weren’t good enough, not because Dempster jeopardized their season with one hit-by-pitch in mid-August.

Tags: Alex Rodriguez Featured Popular Ryan Dempster

  • Amy Does

    Dempster is kind of a punk though. If he jsut would have hit him the first time i’d be on board with it, but the fact that it took him 4 attempts he just looks like a stooge.

    • John Fahrer

      Still wouldn’t label him as a punk. Could say it was a punk move. He’s actually one of the nicer guys in the game. Not many starting pitchers fall in that category.

  • Eric Reining

    No one was accusing Ryan Dempster of being any sort of villain. They were saying what he did was dumb, unnecessary, and asking what gives Ryan Dempster the moral high-ground to be the “judge, jury and executioner,” as you put it.

    Honestly, fans who share your baseball beliefs make me sick. They are the same ones who cheered when Alex Rodriguez was hit. I mean … who does that? You say “Fans who are outraged at Dempster’s actions are hypocrites,” but what I’m wondering is how in the world can you justify rooting for a potential injury on a human being that has never personally done anything to any of you?

    I’m a Rangers fan, editor of the Rangers FS site. I’m perfectly aware of the misguided hatred aimed in Alex Rodriguez’s direction. And you know what? I find it 100% sophomoric for all these idiots assuming their sanctimonious positions, passing judgement on one of the most talented baseball players in Major League history.

    And I’m no A-Rod fan, believe me.

    If you want to get into a discussion about hypocrites, maybe you should start analyzing some of the things you wrote in this article, because at least 80% of it is driven by baseless opinions that may as well have been ripped off any ESPN piece, or heard on MLB Network.

    This “circus” you speak of, the one A-Rod supposedly brings with him everywhere… that’s not his doing. That’s the media’s fault. And last night, it wasn’t Alex provoking anybody. It was a shitty back-of-the-rotation pitcher who created it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nicholas-Cobraetti/1173068697 Nicholas Cobraetti

      “This “circus” you speak of, the one A-Rod supposedly brings with him everywhere… that’s not his doing. That’s the media’s fault. ”
      100% wrong.

      • Eric Reining

        Oh?

        Can you elaborate?

        • Bob Cavalli

          Sure. Watch the broadcast of any Yankee game on ESPN , Fox, TBS, NBC, or MLB. It is non stop ARod. NON STOP. Sanctimonious blowhards like Costas. Sutcliffe, McCarver, and Schilling, along with bow-tied nancyboy Rosenthal spend most of the game commenting on ARod, how much he is booed, what the latest rumors are, or what their precious “sources” tell them. A perfect example: Yankee game, Sutcliffe in the booth, comments to the effect of ‘how do you think Joe Nathan feels, having had ARod hit a homer off him in the ’09 ALDS?’ Probably about the same that Rivera feels after Ortiz (who is every bit the liar and cheat Rodriguez is) hit a walkoff against him in the ’04 ALCS. What a bunch of whining hypocrites.

          • Rick M.

            Patient zero in this whole mess is none other than ARod. His antics is what caused the media attention and it is a news worthy story both for baseball and the general public. ARod is a public figure and one that does not remain low profile like some athletes. So the idea is to blame the messenger?

            ARod has a long history of questionable on field and off field behaviors so this just adds another laundry list line o the never ending story – baseball version.

          • Bob Cavalli

            Tell you what, Rick; let’s apply the same microscopic scrutiny to, say, Manny Ramirez, who assaulted the Sox traveling secretary in a fit of anger for not being able to get enough tickets. It is impossible for ARod to remain ‘low profile’, as he is hounded by the media everywhere he goes. And what “questionable” off field behavior? Playing high stakes poker? Oh my. Dating actresses? Not for nuthin’, but I’m not sure why that is “questionable”. Commissioning a painting of himself as a centaur? Who cares? The baseball version is this: a sleazy clinic run by a sleazy guy claims ARod was a customer. Unless and until there is evidence that he’s tested positive, this is just another MLB witch hunt, no better than the first one, with leaks, rumors, and anonymous accusations.

          • Rick M.

            Are you from this area? Manny was hammered by the press and on the talk shows. Anyways….seems like a deflection.

            Seems that off field is what brings the attention. No? Does nothing quietly.

            Are you aware he admitted use in the past? Seems that MLB MAY have the goods on him. Wait and see. I only hope for the worse for ARod.

          • Bob Cavalli

            Of course I’m aware he admitted use…anyone anywhere who follows baseball is aware. No, I’m not from the Boston area, and that makes my point. Unless you are, it is likely you don’t know of Manny’s assaulting a Sox staffer, and his national coverage is still full of chuckle-inducing ‘Manny being Manny’ nostalgia ARod’s coverage is universally negative, and pretty much galactic in scope. As for “wait and see”, perhaps you should tell the washed up Ryan Dempster to do so, too. What he did was classless, cowardly, and hypocritical.

    • Paul Prims

      You don’t think A-Rod is responsible for the circus? How about he go to his “representatives” and impose a gag order on them with the media? No more comments on the situation. Period. He has the power to do that and he hasn’t. That is not the media’s fault.

    • Paul Prims

      This is an opinion blog, not a hard news story. And I doubt ESPN will rip A-Rod as I have because they would risk losing precious “access” to him and we can’t have that can we?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nicholas-Cobraetti/1173068697 Nicholas Cobraetti

    “They always say baseball players should settle their business amongst themselves on the field and that is exactly what happened here.”
    What a specious statement. It never WAS Dempster’s business. A-Rod’s issues had nothing to do with Dempster or the Sox; it’s strictly between A-Rod, the Yankees and MLB. Not remotely the same thing, and the fact that 1) the MLBPA negotiated and voted on the appeal process that let A-Rod play, 2) Dempster has been a player rep for the union, and 3) he’s now put his own teammates at risk, makes it worse.
    Personally I can’t stand A-Rod and I think every one of these cheats should be banned for life, but Dempster’s behavior was unprofessional and bush-league.

  • Jerald

    “Fans who are outraged at Dempster’s actions are hypocrites. They always say baseball players should settle their business amongst themselves on the field and that is exactly what happened here. If Yankee fans want David Ortiz hit intentionally because he hits too many home runs, how are they any better?”

    Why not throw at Ortiz because he is a steroid user? Dempster is a POS