It isn’t often I feel bad for Alex Rodriguez. Almost everything that has come his way, in terms of negative publicity, has been deserved.
He’s a steroid with legs; a great athlete who couldn’t deal with not being the greatest athlete (i.e. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens).
He’s one of the most uncomfortable superstar athletes I’ve ever been around. He’s not mean, just ... not real.
But after Ryan Dempster’s fourth pitch to the Yankees third baseman in the second inning -- the other three were within inches of hitting A-Rod -- the one that him on his elbow pad, I found myself thinking one thing: “Who the hell is Ryan Dempster?”
And yes, I felt bad for A-Rod.
I have to applaud Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who if he had his druthers would cut ties with A-Rod immediately if it was allowed. Girardi, who has had a tough season with injuries and controversy while stumbling in fourth place, went after the umpire as if his wife was being beaned.
Girardi was upset the Dempster wasn’t thrown out and that the Yankees were allowed to police the game themselves, which means C.C. Sabathia wouldn’t be allowed retribution on Dustin Pedroia’s elbow or David Ortiz’s butt.
With Dempster directing the ship, the Red Sox, leading 2-0 at the time and appearing ready to end the Yankees season on this night, did the opposite and woke up the Yankees. Instead of leaving Logan Airport 9.5 games out of first, they played like champions after the plunking and instead left the park only 7.5 games behind.
Everything changed after that selfish act by Dempster, who is 130-133 lifetime. The Yankees woke up. Worse, the Yankees started caring about A-Rod, which according to the New York tabloids was a miracle event.