Red Sox fans should be embarrassed by Ryan Dempster's intentional plunking of Alex Rodriguez last night.
I'm not sure that anyone saw this coming. Dempster is generally known as a laid back, lighthearted guy. While John Lackey was mouthing off about A-Rod's return to baseball, Dempster intelligently noted that even A-Rod has the right to play while he appeals his suspension.
But maybe, behind closed doors, the pitching staff convinced Dempster to do the job because he is the one that can most risk a suspension of his own. Dempster is no late season pitcher, and this August he is particularly bad, with a 7.40 ERA through four starts. Hell, it took him four pitches to plunk A-Rod.
Unfortunately, he also succeeded in getting the Yankees fired up. They hit Dempster 9 times in 5-1/3 innings, including a towering home run by A-Rod. With 3 hits last night, he was quite arguably the best player on the field last night.
So was it worth it? The Red Sox benefitted from PED use during their two championship seasons. Whether you think that's horrifying, or just part of baseball, it's more than a bit hypocritical to suddenly get huffy about A-Rod being on the field.
More importantly, let's keep in mind that the Red Sox are only one game up in the AL East standings. And if they fall behind the Rays, there is no guarantee of a wild card spot: the Orioles and the Athletics are both in heavy contention. So, keep your eyes on the prize. Let's play baseball, boys, not morality police.