Joe Girardi had plenty to say after Sunday’s game, during which Ryan Dempster drilled Alex Rodriguez in the second inning. The Yankees manager was a man of few words after hearing that Dempster received just a five-game suspension Tuesday.
“I don’t really have any comment,” Girardi told reporters upon hearing the news. “I don’t know.”
Girardi, who was ejected from Sunday’s game at Fenway Park, said immediately following the contest that Dempster should be forced to miss at least one start. That won’t be the case, though, as the Red Sox’ scheduled off days make it so that the right-hander can serve his five-game suspension and still pitch as he normally would. It’s a reality that isn’t going over too well in the Yankees’ clubhouse.
“I thought he at least should miss a start and he’s not going to do that,” said CC Sabathia, who pitched against Dempster on Sunday. “I don’t think it does anything.”
Dempster threw four straight pitches inside while facing Rodriguez on Sunday. The first one sailed behind the slugger, and the fourth one hit Rodriguez in the elbow, prompting home plate umpire Brian O’Nora to warn both benches. Girardi thought that Dempster should have been ejected, and he has since expressed concern about other pitchers potentially throwing in A-Rod’s direction without proper discipline handed to Dempster.
“That’s my concern,” Girardi said. “We’ll find out. I sure hope [that doesn't happen]. … I think when you talk about suspensions, if you suspend a position player three games, he misses three games. You can suspend a pitcher five games, even six games, and he might not miss a start if the off days come into play. That’s why I think everything has to be taken into account when you make a suspension. Not just in this case; all the time.”
Sabathia didn’t retaliate in Sunday’s game, which the Yankees won 9-6. He clearly isn’t a fan of the whole situation, though, especially now that Dempster has avoided missing any time.
“It’s definitely a different scenario,” Sabathia told reporters. “And even with the unwritten code, you don’t throw at a guy four times. He violated every code in every way. … I’m sure if it happens again that hopefully somebody will see that this isn’t enough and that guys need to be suspended longer.”
Dempster and Girardi were also fined for their actions in Sunday’s game.