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.
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.
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.
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.