Joe Maddon‘s message was simple. The Rays manager didn’t like that Ryan Dempster threw at Alex Rodriguez intentionally.
Maddon’s Rays pose the biggest threat to the Red Sox in the American League East, so surely he enjoyed watching the Yankees respond to Rodriguez getting plunked by taking down the Sox on Aug. 18. He didn’t enjoy the actual incident, though, as he feels that there’s no reason to intentionally hit A-Rod, who is currently appealing a 211-game suspension.
“Vigilante justice and unilateral decisions, I’m not into that stuff,’’ Maddon said last week. “There’s rules in place. There’s a board that’s assigned to make those kind of decisions. I believe in players controlling the game itself in regards to what’s happening in that game, and we always talk about policing that. But [what Dempster did] is totally separate from the unwritten rules of baseball. So, I do not agree with that at all. And again, I don’t believe in rogue, unilateral decisions or players meting out discipline, whereas this is something entirely different.”
David Ortiz made headlines for expressing disapproval over Dempster’s actions as well. His stance was that the right-hander woke up a monster in the Yankees by drilling A-Rod. That monster has won six of its last eight games, although Tampa Bay took two of three from New York over the weekend. Maddon, who provides an outside perspective, just doesn’t see the logic behind a pitcher taking matters into his own hands.
“There’s no reason to,’’ Maddon said. “There’s absolutely zero reason to do that, for me. That’s what I believe. I believe let the mechanism in place work and everybody do their jobs. … Don’t attempt to be judge and jury and just let everybody do their jobs.”
The Rays opted to instead place an emphasis on getting Rodriguez out, and the slugger went 2-for-9 during the Yankees’ three-game series in Tampa Bay.