Ryan Dempster

Ortiz and A-Rod Are Friends

Baseball is so different than it was when I was growing up.  Opposing players hug each other during BP and go out to lunch and dinner with one another.  The hate seems to be gone for the most part.  It could be my memory is distorted, but I don’t recall the kind of love today’s players show for each other back in the 80’s.  Perhaps most MLB players are so rich that little things like rivalry and winning take a backseat to friendship.

No matter, David Ortiz today expressed displeasure with Ryan Dempster hitting A-Rod on Sunday.  He said it wasn’t because he and A-Rod are friends, rather it woke up the Yankees and breathed life into the them.

If I was Dempster, I’d be steamed right now.  Ortiz did say that Dempster was a “great guy” but calling out a teammate in public is wrong.  Especially for an isolated incident vs. an ongoing, well documented issue.  By criticizing his teammate on a strategy decision, he might as well call out John Farrell for bringing Brayan Villarreal, he of the 7.5 walks per 9 innings between MLB and AAA this year, into a bases loaded tie game only to see him walk in the winning run on 4 pitches (not much of a surprise).  Or he could call out Shane Victorino for not letting a foul ball drop and instead catching allowing the game tying run to score on a sac fly.  Or myriad other examples.

So Ortiz claims his words aren’t because of his friendship with A-Rod (they reportedly did lunch on over the weekend) but rather the fallout after the plunking with the Yankees rallying to win the game.  I’m not buying it David but either way, keep your trap shut.  What good does it do to throw your teammate under the bus.  Why not pull him aside and tell him you disapproved, in private, and leave it at that.

So while it is easy for Ortiz to blame Dempster for the Yankees rallying, I think we can all point to Ortiz and blame him should the Red Sox falter down the stretch.  You can’t have it both ways David.

Last Laugh

If only Ryan Dempster was as good at winning as he is hitting people.  Actually wait, it took him 2 tries to really hit A-Rod (or 4 if you think pitches 2 and 3 were meant to hit him), so perhaps he isn’t good at either.  Dempster was signed in the off-season to add quality depth to the Red Sox rotation.  A 2-year deal at $13.25 per season, it was a good signing I thought at the time.  Yes, pitching in the AL East is different from other divisions but I figured he’d be a helpful component to this team.

Dempster did last night what I think many players in baseball have been wanting to do.  Fine, hit the guy, but then, please go out and finish the task at hand.  A-Rod came back to make Dempster look silly.  Not only did Dempster allow A-Rod to score after hitting him, he later gave up a home run to him.  Look, I don’t like A-Rod and the fact he is playing right now is a joke, but these are the cards that have been dealt and Dempster has to remember that PEDs or not, A-Rod is talented.  No one knows just how talented he really is as we don’t know when we are watching a clean A-Rod vs. a PEDed A-Rod, but he can hit and is always going to be at worst an above average player.

Dempster has a 4.77 ERA now and 6-9 record.  That’s not good enough and if Dempster is going to go out and make a statement like he did last night, he HAS to back it up.  Terrible outcome.  Horrible loss.

I will say that last night’s game was interesting and certainly reminiscent of Red Sox v. Yankee games of old.