It’s been a rough season for Alex Rodriguez, and his manager, Joe Girardi, wants to make sure it doesn’t get any rougher. After Boston Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster hit Rodriguez with a pitch Sunday night at Fenway Park, Girardi told ESPN he thinks Dempster should be suspended. For the manager, it’s not only a matter of what happened, but also of what will happen if a precedent isn’t set.
"You just can't throw at someone because you don't like him or disagree with the way something's being handled," Girardi told reporters Tuesday. "It just makes him (Rodriguez) open season for people and that can't happen."
Dempster denied hitting Rodriguez on purpose in a post-game press conference Sunday, but Girardi speculates the pitcher intentionally beaned Rodriguez for playing while appealing his 211-game suspension in connection the Biogenesis performance enhancing drugs investigation.
"If a player is suspended for throwing at someone, they're going to get their appeal," Girardi said. "Are we going to throw that out, too? So, I mean, this is what's been negotiated."
Girardi, a former catcher, also took issue with how dangerous he thought Dempster’s actions were, adding, "You can express your opinion and be upset with someone but you just can't start throwing baseballs at people. It's scary. One of the reasons I was so upset is ... I mean that baseball is a weapon. It's not a tennis ball or it's not an incredi-ball that's soft. It's a weapon and it can do a lot of damage to someone's life."
After the game, Rodriguez told reporters how appreciative he was of his team’s support, saying, "That today kind of brought us together. Joe's reaction was amazing. Every single one of my teammates came up to me and said, 'Hit a bomb and walk it off.' And they were as [angry] as I was. That's just not right."
For Girardi and Rodriguez, payback might be on its way any hour now. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Dempster is “almost certain to get suspension of some kind” for his actions.