The villain of MLB got a bit of revenge on Sunday night.
New York Yankees third basemen Alex Rodriguez launched a towering home run off Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster in the sixth inning after he had been plunked earlier in the game, propelling the Yankees to a 9-6 win and series victory over their archrivals. A-Rod batted 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI on the night.
ESPN Stats & Info put the moonshot into context:
Alex Rodriguez's HR in 6th was calculated at 446 feet, the longest HR by a Yankee this season (previous long was Robinson Cano - 445) #SNB— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 19, 2013
With the Red Sox leading the Yankees 2-0 in the second inning of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball showcase, Dempster threw four consecutive pitches inside on A-Rod. Rodriguez had to jump out of the way to avoid his first offering, and then finally took his base on Dempster’s fourth attempt.
Home plate umpire Brian O’Nora quickly warned both benches, but Dempster wasn’t ejected. This infuriated Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who sprinted onto the field to defend his player.
Ultimately, Girardi was ejected, but the Yankees got the last laugh on the scoreboard. With the win New York is now 7.5 games back of Boston for first in the AL East, and 6.0 games back of the second wild-card position, currently held by the Oakland Athletics.
Girardi had some candid remarks regarding Dempster after the game (via Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York and David Lennon of Newsday):
Girardi: "there is no explanation. It's just wrong"— wallace matthews (@ESPNNYYankees) August 19, 2013
Girardi: I want to see Dempster get suspended— wallace matthews (@ESPNNYYankees) August 19, 2013
On Dempster, Girardi said "I wish he had to hit - that's what I wish." #yankees— David Lennon (@DPLennon) August 19, 2013
Bryan Hoch of MLB.com had a gem of a quote from A-Rod:
"Whether you like me or hate me, that was wrong. It was unprofessional and silly." - Alex Rodriguez— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) August 19, 2013
It hasn’t been smooth sailing for the poster child of the Biogenesis saga, with ESPN’s T.J. Quinn and Pedro Gomez breaking the news in the middle of the game that A-Rod helped foot the bill for Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch’s lawyer (thereby allegedly tampering with the investigation). Rodriguez is currently appealing a 211-game suspension handed out by the league.
But for one night, Rodriguez can go to sleep with a smile on his face.