Sometimes, you just have to get something out of your system. MLB had its chance to send a strong message by penalizing Ryan Dempster severely for throwing at Alex Rodriguez. Instead they declared it “Open Season” for opposing pitchers to throw at him.
That is because the punishment basically is no punishment at all. If you’re a pitcher who doesn’t like Rodriguez, now you know what to expect. You’re going to have your next start pushed back a day or two if you throw at him. That’s all that a five day suspension means to a starting pitcher.
What is infuriating is that this could have a real effect on the Yankees push for the playoffs. Whether you’re a Yankees fan who likes Alex or not, this should matter since it appears that his hips are healthy and his bat is back. Now, every time he stands in the box, he is like a duck swimming in a pond. Take your best shot, boys. If you miss, don’t worry, you can try and try again, just like Dempster did.
So how does the penalty system work, anyway? If you hit him in the back you miss one start. So if you knock him out of the game do you miss two? If you send him all the way to the disabled list, is that three? Fifty games for PEDs but only three for crippling someone?
Since his ejection from the game, Manager Joe Girardi has held nothing back in his view of the incident.
“That baseball is a weapon, he said. “It’s not a tennis ball. Or it’s not an Incrediball that’s soft. It’s a weapon, and it can do a lot of damage to someone’s life. And that’s why I was so upset about it. You can express your opinion and be upset with someone, but you just can’t start throwing baseballs at people. I mean, it’s scary.”
So Dempster’s actions are absolutely not called for. And MLB can take its penalty and throw it right in the garbage. Because that’s what it is. And if Dempster doesn’t like that-tough. Send Dempster to the dumpster too!