I’m going to talk a little baseball today. It’s been on my mind since hearing about it and then watching a recap of the eventful New York Yankees/Boston Red Sox game on Sunday, August 18. I know most everyone hates Alex Rodriquez, public enemy number one in the baseball world, but just indulge me.
For those unaware, Alex Rodriquez and twelve other players were suspended by Major League Baseball in early August due to their connection with Biogenesis, a Florida “anti-aging” clinic, and for their alleged (and now admitted) use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). Rodriguez was given a 211 game suspension, while the twelve others were all given 50 game suspensions, effective immediately. Rodriguez’s suspension would have taken him all the way through the 2014 regular season. Simple enough. He may very well deserve every game he is suspended. However, under the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the players and Major League Baseball, players have the right to appeal their suspension and continue playing until the appeals process has finished. Alex Rodriguez has appealed and has returned to playing for the Yankees. I know people hate this; I know players hate this. But let the man have his due process. The CBA lays out the rules of how contracts work in MLB. Deal with it and stop complaining. (Yes, you can have an opinion, but I’m done listening to those who think he shouldn’t be playing.)
So, what about that “eventful” game from Sunday, August 18? Well, the starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, Ryan Dempster, apparently doesn’t approve of Alex Rodriguez. In the second inning, Dempster plunked Rodriguez on the fourth pitch. This was after he pitched behind Rodriguez on the first pitch and then threw two more pitches inside. It seemed pretty obvious to me that this was an intentional hit. The sportscasters calling the game agreed it was, too (give a watch and listen; those Red Sox fans sound horrible cheering when A-Rod gets hit). Okay, players get intentionally hit for all sorts of reasons, but come on, four pitches! He made his intentions beyond obvious, even though he is not admitting to it. I would have thought this obviousness would have gotten Dempster an ejection, but no, the home plate umpire Brian O’Nora simply gave warnings to both dugouts. Yankee manager Joe Girardi stormed onto the field and let O’Nora have it (rightfully so) and was subsequently ejected from the game. Rodriguez took his base and then exacted his revenge in the fifth inning when he cranked a solo shot. The Yankees ended up coming from behind and winning, so Dempster may have just ignited a third place Yankee team at the wrong time of the season (Red Sox slugger David Ortiz agrees with this idea).
Luckily, MLB decided to suspend Dempster, but unfortunately for only five games. Five games for a pitcher is no problem. He doesn’t pitch every night and by the time the five games go by he’ll be fresh for his next start. It’s like no suspension happened. The suspension is weak and should have been for more games. At least there was a suspension. No action from MLB would have implied approval that it is okay to hit Alex Rodriguez. The suspension makes some kind of statement and says there are consequences for your actions. Alex Rodriguez will most likely suffer the consequences of his actions soon enough, but let him have his due process. In the mean time, how about you just pitch to him and strike him out to show that you don’t respect him.