MLB is not going to let Ryan Dempster‘s plunking of Alex Rodriguez slide. The starting pitcher was suspended for five games on Tuesday, just two days after he hit baseball’s top heel in the arm with a fastball.
Dempster didn’t do himself any favors by hitting A-Rod on a 3-0 count, because it was obvious to everyone right away that the beaning was on purpose. It’s been a long time since I can remember a hit batsman drawing so much attention, but when it’s A-Rod, there’s always going to be a ton of coverage.
There are lots of varying opinions on Dempster’s decision. Some fans are outraged and can’t believe he would ‘stoop to such lows.’ While others like myself could really care less. Dempster’s decision to bean the game’s darkest cloud was not a real bright one, but he was just doing what any pitcher that decides to hit a batter is doing – sending a message.
Now MLB has sent a message to all pitchers that hitting A-Fraud will not be tolerated. They’re doing the right thing by stepping in and making a statement, because ultimately the league has to protect its players. You just can’t have pitchers throwing at the lying third baseman, even though it would be extremely entertaining.
I don’t like the fact that Dempster has been banned, but I get it. MLB had to do something to make it clear that what he did was unacceptable. Still, it doesn’t guarantee A-Rod’s safety the rest of the way. A five-game ban is really not that big of a deal for a starting pitcher…