May 23, 2018
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Boston pitcher Dempster suspended five games for throwing at A-Rod

Boston's Ryan Dempster delivers a pitch against the New York Yankees Sunday night at Fenway Park in Boston. Dempster was suspended for five games Tuesday for throwing at New York's Alex Rodriguez during the game.
By The Sports Xchange, Special to the BDN

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Ryan Dempster received a five-game suspension and was fined an undisclosed amount for “intentionally throwing at and hitting Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees with a pitch in the top of the second inning of Sunday night’s game at Fenway Park.”

Joe Garagiola, Jr., Senior Vice President of Standards & Operations for Major League Baseball, announced the penalty in a press release Tuesday afternoon.

The suspension begins Tuesday, unless the veteran right-hander opts to appeal. If appealed, the penalty is held in abeyance until the process is complete.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi made an impassioned plea for the suspension about three hours before MLB made it official. Girardi, who shot out of the visitor’s dugout after home plate umpire Brian O’Nora issued warnings to both benches, was also fined for his actions.

“It just makes him open season for people,” Girardi said, speaking before the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays.

“That baseball is a weapon. It’s not a tennis ball. … 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.”

Dempster hasn’t admitted intentionally throwing at Rodriguez, but he threw a pitch behind A-Rod’s knees and two more inside before finally striking him on the left elbow pad with a 3-0 pitch at Fenway Park on Sunday.

Asked after the incident Sunday night whether he felt Dempster deserved a suspension, Rodriguez smiled and said “I’m the wrong guy to be asking about suspensions.”

A-Rod plans malpractice suit

Attorneys for Alex Rodriguez are preparing a malpractice suit against New York Yankees’ team doctor Chris Ahmad.

The basis for the suit, according to Rodriguez lawyer Joseph Tacopina, revolves around whether Ahmad and the Yankees chose not to disclose results of an MRI last October. The Yankees maintain they had no knowledge of the torn labrum in Rodriguez’s hip that required surgery. Rodriguez, 38, has also begun the process of filing a grievance against the Yankees.

No suspension for Strasburg

Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg will not be suspended by Major League Baseball after he threw behind a batter during Saturday’s game against the Atlanta Braves, reported Tuesday.

Consecutive Strasburg pitches sailed behind Atlanta’s Andrelton Simmons in the second inning. As a result, Strasburg and Nationals manager Davey Johnson were ejected after they received a warning.

In the first inning, Strasburg hit Atlanta’s Justin Upton in retaliation for the Braves plunking Washington’s Bryce Harper twice the previous night. The Braves didn’t retaliate and the game proceeded. In the second inning, Strasburg simply lost control of the strike zone, throwing consecutive wild pitches and seven straight balls.

Ogando on 15-day DL

The Texas Rangers placed right-hander Alexi Ogando on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation and recalled Travis Blackley from Triple-A Round Rock, the team announced Tuesday.

The 29-year-old Ogando went back on the DL for the third time this year. He was sidelined in May with biceps tendinitis and then with shoulder inflammation in June and July. In 15 starts this season, Ogando has a 5-4 record with a 3.47 ERA in 80 1/3 innings.

The Rangers acquired Blackley, 30, from Houston last week. He posted a 1-1 record with a 4.89 ERA in 35 innings in relief for the Astros this year and made one start in Triple-A with Round Rock before his promotion to the majors.

Matsuzaka released

Daisuke Matsuzaka was granted his unconditional release by the Cleveland Indians.

The veteran right-hander had Tommy John surgery in 2011 and had been pitching for the Columbus Clippers. He allowed five runs in four innings in his final start on Monday and was 5-8 with a 3.92 ERA in 19 starts.

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