With the Tampa Bay Rays just one game behind the Red Sox, the boys from Boston can’t stand to lose any unnecessary ground.
The Red Sox-Yankees rivalry hit a fever pitch Sunday when embattled Yankees star Alex Rodriguez stepped up to the plate against Ryan Dempster. The Sox pitcher did his best to send a message to A-Rod, tossing one ball behind him, two inside and one that eventually nailed the slugger.
David Ortiz stood up for his friend Rodriguez, though, voicing disapproval of his teammate for drilling A-Rod, according to USA Today Sports.
“I didn’t like it. I don’t think it was the right thing to do,” Ortiz said. “But we don’t all think alike, and the guy who did it, Dempster, is a great guy. It’s not that I didn’t think it was right because Alex and I are friends, because once you cross the white lines, everyone’s on their own.
“But we’ve got Tampa right on our heels, and that pitch woke up a monster in the Yankees’ team at that moment. You saw how the game ended up. CC [Sabathia] was throwing 91 [mph] and started throwing 96. Alex later hit one way out there. You’re talking about a good team that you can’t wake up. But we learn from our mistakes.”
Dempster was suspended five games for the act.
Ortiz and Rodriguez appear to be pals off the field. They reportedly left Fenway Park together Saturday after Boston’s win.