The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

August 21, 2013

Dempster suspended five games for hitting A-Rod

NEW YORK (AP) — Boston's Ryan Dempster was suspended for five games and fined by Major League Baseball for intentionally hitting Yankees star Alex Rodriguez with a pitch last weekend.

The penalty was announced Tuesday by MLB senior vice president Joe Garagiola Jr., two days after Dempster hit A-Rod in the second inning at Fenway Park. Yankees manager Joe Girardi was fined for arguing with plate umpire Brian O'Nora.

Dempster's fine was $2,500 and Girardi's was $5,000, people familiar with the discipline told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the amounts were not announced.

Dempster could still play if he appeals. And since Boston is off Thursday and Monday, he could also just serve the suspension and get pushed back from Friday to Tuesday in the Red Sox rotation.

Earlier Tuesday, Girardi insisted it would be "open season" on Rodriguez if MLB failed to suspend Dempster.

"I think I made my feelings pretty clear then," he said after the suspension was announced.

Dempster threw one pitch behind A-Rod's knees and two more inside during the second inning. Then his 3-0 pitch struck Rodriguez's left elbow pad and ricocheted off his back.

Girardi sprinted onto the field, screaming at O'Nora for not ejecting the pitcher. Girardi was tossed as the benches and bullpens emptied, and Rodriguez homered off Dempster to spark a sixth-inning rally that lifted New York to a 9-6 win.

Dempster maintained he was pitching inside and wasn't trying to hit Rodriguez.

"That baseball is a weapon. It's not a tennis ball. Or it's not an Incrediball that's soft. It's a weapon, and it can do a lot of damage to someone's life," Girardi said before a doubleheader against Toronto. "And that's why I was so upset about it. You can express your opinion and be upset with someone, but you just can't start throwing baseballs at people. I mean, it's scary."

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