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Dempster suspended five games

The SportsXchange

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 empassioned 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."
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