Fans cheered at Fenway Park when Ryan Dempster drilled New York Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez intentionally Sunday, but Dempster’s Boston Red Sox teammate, designated hitter David Ortiz, strongly disapproved of the purpose pitches.
“I didn’t like it. I don’t think it was the right thing to do,” Ortiz told USA Today on Wednesday of Dempster’s plunking of Rodriguez, who faces a 211-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. “But we don’t all think alike, and the guy who did it — Dempster — is a great guy.”
Ortiz, who admits being a close friend of Rodriguez “outside the white lines,” said his feelings about the incident had nothing to do with friendship or appearances. Rather, Ortiz took issue with opening the door for the Yankees to win the game and potentially become a factor in the American League East race.
“Once you cross the white lines, everyone’s on their own,” Ortiz. “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.”