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Ryan Dempster almost certainly to get a suspension today

Aug 20, 2013, 11:32 AM EDT

It’s taken Major League Baseball a good while to decide on punishment — or not — for Ryan Dempster following his clearly intentional plunking of Alex Rodriguez on Sunday night. But Joel Sherman reports that it’s gonna happen today:


Again, if they don’t suspend Dempster they are declaring open season on A-Rod and are giving every pitcher who intentionally throws at a batter a solid defense against discipline. What’s more, the league would give A-Rod and his attorneys ammo for their “MLB is out to get us” talking points. The league may not like Rodriguez all that much, but suspending Dempster is the only smart play here.

  1. Jack Marshall - Aug 20, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    Helps the Red Sox, too, giving Workman a start instead of Dempster.

    • uyf1950 - Aug 20, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      With the Red Sox having Aug, 22 and 26 off should Dempster be suspended for just 5 games he won’t miss a start all that type of suspension will have cost Dempster is a few days pay. There won’t be any need to start Workman in his place.

  2. rickdobrydney - Aug 20, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Gutless zero Dempster —- lets call him Dumpster —–

    • sabatimus - Aug 20, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      Who isn’t calling him Dumpster? Even Sox fans do that.

    • 18thstreet - Aug 20, 2013 at 11:40 AM


  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 20, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    It will probably be that super tough 4-game variety. Man, those just crush a starting pitcher.

    • uyf1950 - Aug 20, 2013 at 11:43 AM

      I’m thinking a 6 game suspension that will be reduced to 5 games upon appeal and Dempster won’t miss a start, it will merely be pushed back a day or 2. The only thing it cost Dempster is a few days docking of his $13.25MM yearly pay. BIG DEAL.

      • 18thstreet - Aug 20, 2013 at 12:08 PM

        What do you think is a fair punishment? Because two or three percent of $13 million is (checks calculator) is a lot of f’ing money.

      • Detroit Michael - Aug 20, 2013 at 12:24 PM

        Not sure that he loses his salary during the suspension.

      • uyf1950 - Aug 20, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        18thstreet, personally I don’t think $325K is sufficient enough penalty. A pitcher thowing what I consider a “lethal weapon” a 90 plus MPH fastball at basically an unprotected player no once not twice but at least 3 times with express intent to hurt him and take him out of the games deserves a stiffer penalty. What that penalty should be I’m not sure. See I’m kind of an eye for an eye type of guy.
        My personal preference is let Dempster stand in the batter box and let say Joba throw 3 or 4 pitchers or however many it takes to hit him with a 95MPH fast ball at shoulder height or higher. That’s my take an eye for an eye so to speak.
        Then lets see how often he throws intentionally at a batter again.

      • uyf1950 - Aug 20, 2013 at 12:40 PM

        Detroit, he does lose his salary. Any player suspended by MLB forfeits their salary for the length of the suspension.

      • 18thstreet - Aug 20, 2013 at 12:55 PM

        Fair enough, UFY. $300K sounds like a pretty big penalty to me. We disagree.

        I know that a baseball is, an a literal sense, a lethal weapon. So is a letter opener. But Dempster threw at his calves on ball one and at his elbow on the HBP.

        I could be wrong, but I believe no one has actually been killed by a pitched ball since they started wearing helmets. So while I’m sympathetic to the idea that intentionally throwing a baseball at another person is a form of assault, in reality, it’s just an HBP and a bruise. (I’m more upset about collisions at home plate, which — I believe — are a much greater threat to players’ health than intentional HBPs.)

        Heck, wasn’t A-Rod hit on a pad that he wears specifically because there’s a nonzero chance that under ordinary circumstances, he’s going to get hit on the elbow?

      • uyf1950 - Aug 20, 2013 at 1:25 PM

        18thstreet from what I saw he was hit partially on the pad and partially on the elbow or upper arm. My guess and it’s only that is it him there because he kind of jumped a little trying to get out of the way. Had he not done that I honestly think it could very well have hit him much higher up on the arm and then caught part of his face or head. But that’s all speculation on my part.
        Anyway I don’t think there is any doubt that the intention was to HURT Alex not just give him a bruise. You don’t throw at someone 3 or 4 times if your only intent is have that player get a bruise. That’s my opinion.
        If you take your premise that Dempster intention was to hit Alex low that’s not much comfort in my opinion. If he hits him in the knee or ankle he could do some serious damage and put a player out for weeks if not the entire season at this stage of the 2013 season. I realize I maybe sounding a bit melodramatic but I honestly feel their should be a different punishment for someone who INTENTIONALLY throws at a batter 3 or 4 times as opposed to a pitcher who the ball gets away from and the batter is hit.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 20, 2013 at 1:42 PM

        They SHOULD suspend him for 175 games, to make an example of him. Do you think Dempster would complain and appeal, or just take it? I mean, sure the suspension is excessive, but if he plays during the appeal he could have an impact on the division race. We know how he feels about that.

      • uyf1950 - Aug 20, 2013 at 1:59 PM

        Sabathia…., you know if you follow what appears to be Seligs thinking in his suspension of A-Rod that being A-Rod deserved a stiffer penalty because he committed “several” infractions around the Biogenesis case. Going from what in my opinion is a warped way of thinking, Dempster should be suspended for throwing at A-Rod “multiple” times an receive a much stiffer penalty. I’m obviously being facetious but that should show fans what I think of this whole “suspension” farce MLB likes to fall back on as punishment.

      • Detroit Michael - Aug 20, 2013 at 4:58 PM

        As indicated in Craig’s more recent article on this, Dempster does not lose his salary during the suspension.

      • uyf1950 - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:40 PM

        Detroit my friend you have to help me out here. Where does Craig’s more recent blog say Dempster doesn’t lose his salary for the suspension? I read his more recent article and all it says is and I quote “Red Sox Ryan Dempster has received a five-game suspension and an undisclosed fine…”
        Nowhere in the piece does it say Dempster doesn’t forfeit his pay for the games he’s been suspended. I’m not sure it’s a safe assumption to jump to the conclusion that the “undisclosed fine” is in lieu of him forfeiting his pay for the suspension period. Itmay be but Craig’s piece certainly doesn’t make it clear that that’s the case. At least that’s my opinion.

      • Detroit Michael - Aug 21, 2013 at 2:03 AM


        See the last two paragraphs at

  4. uyf1950 - Aug 20, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    I wonder if Lackey will have the same take of a Dempster suspension has he have been so vocal on about A-Rod. That Dempster should NOT be allowed to pitch during any appeal he may make of his suspension. My guess is Lackey will be 2 faced as was the interview with John Farrell when he said after the game he didn’t think hitting A-Rod was intentional. Farrells’ interview didn’t pass the laugh test.

    • Glenn - Aug 20, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      So Farrell should have said that it was intentional and faced a fine and suspension, too? No manager would do that – the system is set up to insure dishonesty in such cases.

      • uyf1950 - Aug 20, 2013 at 12:38 PM

        Farrell should have kept his mouth shut and not expressed an opinion either way if that’s the case.

  5. 18thstreet - Aug 20, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    I think it would be great if the Jimmy Fund did some sort of a tie-in fundraiser for Dempster’s fine. Not that the fans should pay off the fine, that would be ridiculous. (Though there were Washington football fans who bought off RGIII’s registry, so stupider things have happened.) But there’s got to be a clever person in the fundraising department who could help me celebrate Ryan Dempster heroically throwing at A-Rod. Huzzah, I say. Huzzah! (As long as no one actually gets hurt, I have no issues with beanballs thrown anywhere except at the head.)

  6. eatitfanboy - Aug 20, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    But…..but….He assured us that it wasn’t intentional. Are you saying he lied?

    • sabatimus - Aug 20, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      And Farrell after the game did his best Belichick impersonation.

      • 18thstreet - Aug 20, 2013 at 12:01 PM

        And during. I really liked the ESPN announcers saying, “That’s a tough interview during the game,” after Buster Olney talked to Farrell. I mean, it was incredibly easy. All he had to say was “the pitch got away from him.”

        Alternatively, I would have preferred Farrell pull a Colonel Jessup* on live TV, complete with YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH.

        “Buster, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, John Kruk? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Rodriguez, and you curse the Red Sox. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Rodriguez’s HBP, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a baseball, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.”

        * Things I just learned: Col. Jessup’s first name is Nathan.

  7. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 20, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    Is anyone gong to suspend the umpire that stood by and allowed all of this to happen? No? Though not.

    • 18thstreet - Aug 20, 2013 at 12:04 PM

      Wellll … the ump should have tossed Dempster AFTER the HBP. He really couldn’t have tossed him for ball one, and it would have been ridiculous to toss him for balls two and three which were simply inside and not really thrown at A-Rod. (We can see, in retrospect, that balls two and three were evidence of Dempster’s ahem pinpoint command. But the ump couldn’t have thrown Dempster out of the game for those pitches.)

      So I fail to see how the ump failed to prevent anything at all, unless you think ball one merited Dempster’s removal.

    • jdillydawg - Aug 20, 2013 at 12:07 PM

      No need to. All umps will be on permanent suspension once instant replay takes hold. Just a matter of time before the bot is calling balls and strikes and umps are out of a job.

  8. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 20, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    I think ball one and the accompanying stare down merited warning, combined with Dempster’s comments prior to the game. He as much as announced his intentions. I think the plunking certainly merited removal either way. And I think the umpire tossing Girardi like that was just absurd.

    And to be clear, I’m an Orioles fan with no love for either team, although I especially dislike Girardi for some of his comments and his suspected intentional throwing at several of our players over the years.

    But in this case, Dempster is just plain wrong, and committed what I still firmly believe was assault. It’s only a matter of time before a player intentionally throws at another guy, severely injures (or heaven forbid kills) him, resulting in a very ugly lawsuit and potential criminal charges. MLB is incredibly naive if they don’t see this coming. We’ve already seen assault charges enter into the NHL. And I’m sure any good lawyer could easily make the case that a baseball can be used as a deadly projectile weapon. The number of concussion cases alone is proof of that.

    • 18thstreet - Aug 20, 2013 at 1:14 PM

      I think a player is far more likely to be (severely) injured by a splintered bat than by a pitch.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 20, 2013 at 1:38 PM

        Problem is, one is intentional, one is accidental.

  9. bosoxfan15 - Aug 20, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    I’d say a thank you card from MLB is more appropriate.

  10. virusgvr - Aug 20, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    What hilarious about all of this is when Dempster appeals his suspension his fate and decision will be decided far earlier than the A-Rod saga.

  11. chiadam - Aug 20, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Whatever his suspension is, Boston should appeal for it to be longer. Dempster sucks.

  12. js20011041 - Aug 20, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    As a Red Sox fan, I personally want to kick Ryan Dempster in the nuts. I didn’t think it was possible, but with the Red Sox in a tight division race, playing the Yankees, Dempster made me root for Alex Rodriguez. I was happy that a Yankee hit a homerun off of the Red Sox. I’m going to go shower now.

  13. galaragabigcat - Aug 20, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Suspending Dempster is totally ridiculous. If MLB suspends Dempster, they should suspend Stasburg too. He intentionally hit J. Upton right after Heyward hit a HR, then threw 3 wild pitches trying to hit Simmons. A pitcher has not thrown 3 wild pitches in a row since 1995. He was retaliating for the night before when Harper got hit.
    And suspend Grienke, who in 2 separate games this year intentionally hit players.
    Dempster was not ejected, just warned. Stasburg and Manager D. Johnson were both ejected against Atlanta.
    Hitting batters is a part of the game, it has been for years and will continue to happen. As long as they are not throwing at the head and intending to injure. It’s the way pitchers protect and back up their own or make a statement. I’m sorry, but A-Rod deserves everything he gets. He is a cheater and has been for awhile. If I were other players I would be angry he’s playing too. He has manipulated his stats, affected stats of others,especially pitchers. I don’t know how he walks into the clubhouse everyday without a conscience. Everything he’s done and doing is disgusting. Especially ratting on his own teammate, saying his team and MLB are conspiring against him and his team has not managed his health well. If I were the Yankees, I just would not play him. He is a distraction to the Yankees and every other team out there.
    MLB is constantly trying to ruin the game of baseball. Stay out of it and let the umps make calls as they see them.
    He should be banned for life. Pete Rose deserves to be in the Hall of Fame as a player more than those who have used HGH and PEDS. I hope more teams send a message and hit him!

    • 18thstreet - Aug 20, 2013 at 1:15 PM

      I have a hard time believing Matt (Sigh) Young never threw threw wild pitches in a row. Tony Pena must have been amazing.

    • js20011041 - Aug 20, 2013 at 1:26 PM

      The mouthbreathing is strong with this one.

      Point 1

      Alex Rodriguez is a massive upgrade on what the Yankees have been running out to 3B all year. The Yankees also have been trying everything they can to keep him from going out onto the field for solely financial reasons. If you were a Yankee fan, would you not be upset that the team that you’re forking money over to is trying NOT to win?

      Point 2

      Are you disgusted with Josh Lueke having a big league job? Are you disgusted with Brett Myers having a big league job? Are you disgusted with Miguel Cabrera having a big league job? If not, explain to me how PED use is more contemptible than rape, beating your wife, or DUI.

  14. freerayray52 - Aug 20, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    How about a suspension for Girardi too. He almost punched the ump in the face.

  15. drewzducks - Aug 20, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    “What’s wrong with people? You cheer when someone gets hit…what if that was your son? Gets hit, breaks an arm, gets hit in the head…has a concussion? I’d be embarrassed if I acted like that…and I see kids in the stands cheering. I wonder what’s wrong with our world these days…” NY Daily News.. Girardi is either a wuss, hypocrite or the victim of amnesia from too many foul tips behind the plate. I seem to remember HIS pitcher, the bastard son of the crack whore, repeatedly throwing at Youk on many occasions. Only in his delusional world did he vehemently speak out to the media against those episodes and hear the Yankee faithful rain boos down upon their evil Joba. As a catcher for well over a decade I’m sure he NEVER instructed a pitcher to hit an opposing batter. That sloshing sound you’re hearing is Billy Martin rolling over in his distilled coffin. What an embarrassment.

  16. drewzducks - Aug 20, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Oh. And Dempster still sucks. A 10 game suspension would be welcomed in Boston.

  17. Paul White - Aug 20, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    I’ve always wondered why the umps don’t use the discretion they’ve been granted in a completely different way. We know it is within their discretion to determine if a pitcher was throwing at a batter intentionally, hence their ability to issue warnings. And we know that A) MLB thinks this is an offense that should cost the pitcher playing time and B) Issuing only warnings has the effect of penalizing the team whose hitter was thrown at, because they have no means of retaliation without losing their own pitcher (or, in the Yankees case, they lose their manager to an argument).

    Why not, instead, simply eject the pitcher from the game, THEN issue warnings? The very first pitch that the ump thinks was intentionally at the hitter results in immediate ejection of the pitcher and that team’s manager. Now no retaliation is needed, the lost playing time is immediate, and any arguments would come from someone who has already been ejected anyway.

    Some would argue that the umps might abuse that power, or don’t have the judgment skills to make such calls, but that speaks to umpire competence, which is a different issue.

  18. baseballbarrister - Aug 20, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    Leave it to the Red Sox and Bud Selig to make me feel sympathy towards A-Rod.

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