Last night, the Boston Red Sox joined the drama circus that has been circling Biogenesis star Alex Rodriguez for the past few months. In the second inning of the 3rd game hosting the New York Yankees this weekend, starting pitcher Ryan Dempster hit A-Rod on the elbow with 3-0 pitch at around 92 mph.
I can understand the sentiment in wanting to hit Alex Rodriguez with a baseball. The Red Sox do it all the time, 17 times to be exact, more than any other player in baseball. Against the Red Sox, anyway. A-Rod is only 15th all-time, being hit by 169 pitches in his baseball career. That’s a lot of welts.
The fact remains, however, that Ryan Dempster sucks. There’s no use getting around it.
For whatever reason, Ryan Dempster wanted to make a statement by hitting Alex Rodriguez with a baseball. Maybe he was disgusted by A-Rod’s history with PEDs. Maybe he was angry about the fact that A-Rod was still playing under appeal of his suspension. Maybe he wasn’t happy about the allegations that A-Rod ratted out his teammate, Francisco Cervelli. Maybe he wanted to spark the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry again because Red Sox-Rays just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Maybe he just wanted fans to cheer for him again.
Whatever the reason, Ryan Dempster failed to send his message in strong, respectful way. Why? Because it took him 4 pitches to hit Alex Rodriguez.
If you want to say, “Hey, I mean business, and I don’t like you very much” in baseball (while including some fucking expletives), you plunk a guy on the first pitch. That’s what the greats do. Roger Clemens, Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, they don’t play around when they’re hitting a batter. They rear up, drill a fastball into their target, and move on to the next batter. It’s as if to say, “You’re not worth being in the batter’s box. Let me escort you to first base as quickly as possible so that you are out of my sight.”
Dempster didn’t do that. He missed hitting A-Rod on his first pitch. Then, in order to get his bearings back and remember how to pitch, he lobbed in a couple of inside pitches that looked more like a softball catch. Finally, at pitch 4, he hits Rodriguez. Good for you Dempster. It took you long enough. He should have been ejected for being that bad. Umpire Brian O’Nora was lucky he didn’t get hit by a pitch from Dempster himself, or from Yankees manager Joe Girardi, for that matter.
It’s not all that surprising that Ryan Demspter couldn’t hit A-Rod right away. In 145+ innings, he has allowed 149 hits, 64 walks, and 77 earned runs.
Dempster himself has refused to acknowledge any intention of hitting Alex Rodriguez.
“I was just trying to pitch inside,” stated Ryan Dempster.
Intentional or not, the fact remains: Ryan Dempster sucks.