By RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Yankees manager Joe Girardi said it will be “open season” on Alex Rodriguez if Major League Baseball fails to suspend Boston pitcher Ryan Dempster for hitting the New York star with a pitch.
Dempster threw one pitch behind A-Rod’s knees and two more inside at Fenway Park on Sunday. Then his 3-0 pitch struck Rodriguez’s left elbow pad and ricocheted off his back. Girardi sprinted onto the field, screaming at plate umpire Brian O’Nora for not ejecting the pitcher. Girardi was tossed as the benches and bullpens emptied.
Rodriguez was suspended for 211 games on Aug. 5 for violating baseball’s drug and labor agreements but is playing while he appeals. Red Sox pitcher John Lackey criticized the rules last week for allowing A-Rod to play.
MLB is expected to decide Tuesday or Wednesday on any discipline.
Girardi said if Dempster isn’t punished, it just makes Rodriguez “open season for people, and that can’t happen. It’s not fair. If a player is suspended for throwing at someone, they’re going to get their appeal. Are we just going to throw that out, too?”
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