The Sports Xchange
Alex Rodriguez was admittedly angry after being hit by a pitch in the second inning Sunday night, the Ryan Dempster fastball clearly heading his way with plenty of intent behind it.
Players around the league, including Red Sox pitcher John Lackey, have made their feelings known that they object to Rodriguez being allowed to play while he appeals his 211-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy. Still, that's what the collective bargaining agreement allows, so the drilling seemed out of line to the Yankees.
"Every single one of my teammates came up to me and said, 'Hit a bomb and walk it off,'" Rodriguez said. "They were as (ticked) as I was. That's just not right."
"You'd have to have your head in the sand to not know what was coming," said manager Joe Girardi, who was ejected after exploding on to the field following the incident. "There is no explanation. It can't happen. You can't start throwing at people." Rather than watching one of his teammates retaliate with a plunking of their own, Rodriguez exacted his revenge all by himself.
Rodriguez blasted a solo home run to center field in the sixth inning against Dempster, sparking a four-run frame that lifted the Yankees to a 9-6 victory and much-needed series win against the first-place Red Sox. Rodriguez finished the night with three hits and two RBIs.
"I think Alex did the best retaliation by going deep," CC Sabathia said. "There's not much more to say about that. A guy drills you and then you go deep off him, we get the win, (Demspter) gives up seven. What can you say?"
Rodriguez agreed with his manager that Dempster's pitch was no accident, though the pitcher maintain it was after the game.
"Whether you like me or hate me, that's wrong and that was unprofessional and silly and kind of a silly way to get somebody hurt on your team, as well," Rodriguez said.
"That play brought us together."
While Rodriguez's teammates supported him Sunday, the Yankees' front office wasn't in his corner earlier in the day.
Rodriguez's lawyers contacted the Major League Baseball Players Association to begin a grievance regarding their claims that the New York Yankees mishandled Rodriguez's medical treatment this season and last season, multiple media outlets reported.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Rodriguez lied to him by saying he wouldn't seek a second medical opinion, adding that the only times he speaks to Rodriguez now are to say hello and goodbye.