While the Fenway Park faithful appeared to be largely in favor of Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Ryan Dempster hitting New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez with a pitch on Sunday night, one of the Red Sox's most-respected players feels differently, as David Ortiz spoke out against the incident on Wednesday.
According to Jorge L. Ortiz of USA Today, Big Papi wasn't a big fan of Dempster's actions, but he claims it has nothing to do with his friendship with A-Rod.
I didn't like it. 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. 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.
Rather than taking a moral stance against Dempster throwing at Rodriguez, though, Ortiz discussed the fact that it energized the Yankees and resulted in New York winning that game. With Boston and the Tampa Bay Rays engaged in a battle for the AL East crown, that loss could prove costly.
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.
At the time of the beaning, the Red Sox were leading 2-0 in the second inning. Dempster's first pitch went behind A-Rod, and his next two were well inside before he ultimately hit the controversial Yankees slugger. New York tied the game in that inning, and it went on to win 9-6 thanks in large part to an A-Rod home run off Dempster in the sixth inning.
The Yankees haven't lost a game since then, taking the first three games of a four-game set against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Dempster was suspended five games for throwing at Rodriguez, while Yankees manager Joe Girardi was fined for arguing with the umpire and getting tossed from the game.
The five-game suspension means little from Dempster's perspective, as days off mean that he shouldn't miss a start, per Chad Jennings of USA Today. Despite the lack of any real discipline, Ortiz's comments can't possibly make Dempster feel good about what he did.
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