Ryan Dempster suspended five games for hitting Alex Rodriguez, doesn't affect Red Sox rotation

Ryan Dempster will get his next start pushed back a day or two for beaning A-Rod, but is that enough?

8/21/13 in MLB   |   Pat   |   5234 respect

Aug 13, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Ryan Dempster (46) throws against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY SportsMajor League Baseball obviously wants Alex Rodriguez off the field. They handed him a 211-game suspension which he is currently appealing, and they're basically in an all-out war with him over his PED use.

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).

August 20, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez walks back to the dugout after striking out in the fourth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY SportsThe 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:
Because the Red Sox have off-days coming up on Thursday and Monday, the Red Sox can simply skip the turn of Dempster through the rotation if he accepts his suspension. Dempster is in line to pitch Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, but Jon Lester and Jake Peavy could pitch Saturday and Sunday on regular rest and Dempster could return as early as Tuesday back at Fenway Park.

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?
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8/21/13   |   The_Real_Stoney   |   25642 respect

It's an overblown situation. The suspension is equivalent to a 1-game for a position player, stuff lie this happens all the time, and nobody got hurt.
I'm actually surprised he doesn't get plunked more often

8/21/13   |   Jess   |   35086 respect

I think it's enough. Chances are they were just trying to make a point anyway and didn't *really* think punishment was necessary. But I get what you're saying; if they're going to do it they should do it right. either suspend them for 10 games minimum or maybe even do it SP specific and say a start, or 2, or whatever.

8/21/13   |   mcleodglen   |   32 respect