I rarely post anything that isn’t Mets related, but I hope people had a chance to watch yesterday’s game between the Yankees and Red Sox in Fenway Park. Another chapter was written into one of the most storied rivalries in sports.
In the second inning, Alex Rodriguez walked to the plate engulfed in a tidal wave of boos to face Ryan Dempster. Fans started chanting “You’re-a, chea-ter.” Dempster set the tone by throwing the first ball behind Rodriguez’s legs, causing the Yankees slugger to fall to the ground. Three pitches later, Dempster pegged Rodriguez in the elbow. Umpire Brian O’Nora then issued warnings to Dempster and both benches. Manager Joe Girardi was then ejected for justly arguing about why Dempster wasn’t thrown out and why his team was issued a warning.
But revenge is a dish best served in center field. Later in the sixth inning, Rodriguez took Dempster deep to centerfield for a solo home run. It was A-Rod’s 649th career home run, but it had to feel a bit more significant given the circumstances. Rodriguez took a second or two to celebrate on top of home plate. The Yankees went on to win 9-6.
I didn’t understand why Dempster wasn’t warned after the first pitch. His intent was crystal clear. It also put the Yankees at a disadvantage because any retaliation would have gotten C.C. Sabathia ejected immediately. That wound up being moot. It also seemed ill-advised given how close the race in the AL East is. Dempster could have been tossed and the bullpen might have been taxed for their West Coast road trip.
It seemed like this was just a personal vendetta from Dempster, but it’s a microcosm of how most players feel about Rodriguez in general. For the Yankees, the beaning seemed to fire them up. It may be a rallying point for a seemingly indefensible situation.
At any rate, A-Rod should get used to it. Getting drilled is the least of his worries these days.
What are your thoughts?