Monday, August 19, 2013

Ryan Dempster Plays the Bully and Sinks the Red Sox

Last night's Red Sox / Yankees game was interesting on a number of counts.

First, was the about as clear as it gets intentional hitting of Yankee Alex Rodriguez by Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster.  After a near miss in hitting A-Rod by throwing behind his feet (about as inside as you can get), Dempster hit him squarely on the 4th pitch.

Dempster hits at A-Rod

Ryan Dempster after 1st attempt to hit A-Rod
Whatever one thinks of the charges against Rodriguez, a professional pitcher intentionally throwing a 92 mph fastball at another player to hurt them is despicable.  Most of us would much rather live in the same household with someone who cheats on tests than with a bully who beats up other kids when they have no defense.  The one comes from understandable character flaws of wanting to succeed.  The other comes from cruelty at worst and mob justice at best.

Second, plate umpire Brian O'Nora was hit by a pitch that glanced off Yankee catcher Chris Stewart's mitt.  The ball hit O'Nora in the throat area though it glanced off his throat protector.  O'Nora had a few uncomfortable moments, but continued the game just fine.  O'Nora was the umpire who didn't throw Dempster out (but did throw complaining Yankee manager Joe Girardi out) after Dempster hit Rodriguez. One couldn't help but think that it was a reminder to O'Nora of how much even a deflected pitch can hurt and how physically dangerous a fastball that hits you can be.

Umpire Brian O'Nora watches as A-Rod scores on home run off Dempster
Third, Alex Rodriguez got a home run off Dempster in the 6th inning.  It was a sweet come back just like the game should be played.

Fourth, Red Sox pitchers hit three other Yankee batters in the game (though it was through bad control not intentionally).

Fifth, the Yankees' won a 9 to 6 victory over the Red Sox after playing the game right and not retaliating by intentionally hitting Red Sox star David Ortiz or another Red Sox player with a fastball.

Finally, the Yankees won two out of three on this series due as much to Dempster's igniting the Yankees by his bullying tactics as anything else.  Nice that Dempster lost the game after leading 2-0 before intentionally hitting Rodriguez.  Sad for the rest of the Red Sox who have real class to have to play the rest of the season with a guy like Dempster.

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