So when Ryan Dempster beaned him on Sunday night, you'd think the folks in the MLB offices would be thrilled.
As it turns out, they weren't. At least not thrilled enough to let is slide without a slight punishment.
Dempster has been suspended for 5 games, which basically means he'll have to push back his next start a couple days, since starting pitchers only pitch once every 5 games anyway.
It raises a couple questions: First, should Dempster have been suspended for intentionally throwing at Rodriguez? I say he should definitely get the suspension, because it was clearly intentional and easily could have injured a fellow player (A-Rod).
The next question is: Did MLB really even punish Dempster at all? Five games really doesn't make a difference for starting pitchers, since they get pretty much that much time off anyway.
Also, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal points out that it really doesn't change the Sox' rotation anyway:
If anything, this might even help the Red Sox out a bit. Dempster has been arguably their worst starter this year, and skipping his turn in the rotation while still getting normal rest for their other starters isn't a bad thing at all.
This is why I've long said that starting pitchers should always be suspended for a minimum of 10 games, if they're going to be suspended at all. Make it count.
What's your take? Should MLB have suspended him longer? Or was this a suitable punishment? Should the penalties change for starting pitchers overall? What can MLB do to really make their punishments make a difference, without being over the top?