Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Ryan Dempster decided to practice vigilante justice on Sunday night when he threw at New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.


UPDATE: Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 7:22 p.m. ET

Dayton Daily News reporter Hal McCoy quotes Mat Latos in his support for what Dempster did:

“Guys who came up in his era, guys who played against him when he was in Seattle, Texas and now New York — well, there are pitchers (like Dempster) who think a guy cheating like that with steroids, in all honesty, took a lot of money out of those guys pockets,” said Latos. “Is it right what Dempster did? I don’t know. Is it wrong? I don’t think it’s wrong.

“I think there are a lot more pitchers who are going do it,” said Latos. “There is a guy who cheated the system, cheated MLB and was banned for life (Pete Rose). Why isn’t A-Rod banned for life? God only knows how many times he has done it. And there are a lot of guys out there in our game who are pretty p.o.’d about it”

—End of update—


UPDATE: Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 6:19 p.m. ET 

From Providence Journal reporter Brian Macpherson:

—End of update—


He suffered the consequences on Tuesday, though, as Dempster was suspended for five games and fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Baseball, according to Ian Begley of 

The incident in question occurred during the second inning of the rubber match between Boston and New York with the Red Sox leading by two.

Dempster threw behind A-Rod’s knees with his first pitch and came inside with two more as he ran the count to 3-0. Dempster then finished the job that he seemingly set out to accomplish from the start of the at-bat, hitting Rodriguez in the elbow.

This resulted in some players from both teams spilling out onto the field, but nothing came of it. The true fireworks occurred when Yankees manager Joe Girardi came flying out of the dugout as home plate umpire Brian O’Nora not only didn’t eject Dempster, but issued warnings to both teams.   

The warning put the Yankees in a difficult spot, as starter CC Sabathia was essentially prevented from retaliating. The Bronx Bombers made the most of the situation, though, as they tied the game in that inning and went on to win by a 9-6 score.

A-Rod got what he called the “ultimate payback,” according to Andrew Marchand and Wallace Matthews of, by smacking a solo home run off Dempster in the sixth inning.

Girardi explained his tirade following the game, and said that he didn’t agree with Dempster trying to “take the law into his own hands,” according to Marchand and Matthews.

You can’t start throwing at people. Lives—people have had concussions. Lives are changed by getting hit by pitches. Whether I agree with everything that’s going on, you do not throw at people and you don’t take the law into your own hands. You don’t do that. We’re going to skip the judicial system? It’s “My Cousin Vinny.”

Girardi pushed for Dempster to be suspended because he believed that letting the pitcher get off scot-free would signal “open season” on Rodriguez, according to Begley.

While Girardi didn’t receive a suspension for his dust-up with O’Nora or for the comments made afterward, he was fined an undisclosed amount, according to the Yankees’ official Twitter account.

According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Dempster’s five-game suspension will be with pay due to the fact that his suspension stems from an on-field act.

Dempster clearly tried to send the message that some don’t necessarily approve of A-Rod being able to play while he appeals his 211-game suspension, which stems from his alleged involvement with a Miami Biogenesis clinic.

Dempster will miss a start for his troubles, though, while Rodriguez and the Yankees desperately try to earn a playoff spot as the season winds down. 


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