SAN FRANCISCO -- Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster was suspended for five games Tuesday and fined an undisclosed amount for "intentionally throwing at and hitting'' New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez Sunday night.
Dempster first threw behind Rodriguez in the first inning of the Yankees' 9-6 victory at Fenway Park, then hit him. Rodriguez, who later homered off Dempster and jawed at him as he rounded the bases, called the beaning "classless and unprofessional.''
Dempster was not ejected from the game Sunday. Ironically, New York manager Joe Girardi was tossed, after arguing with home plate umpire Brian O'Nora, who warned both benches after the incident.
Girardi was also fined Tuesday for his altercation with O'Nora.
Girardi began campaigning for a suspension for Dempster Sunday night, warning that if MLB didn't act, it would be viewed as "open season'' on Rodriguez, who has aliented many in the game by his actions and his decision to appeal his own 211-game suspension for his involvement with the Biogenesis scandal.
Dempster can appeal the suspension if he so chooses. He maintained Sunday night that he hadn't intentionally thrown at Rodriguez.
If he doesn't choose to appeal, the suspension begins Tuesday.
Even if Dempster serves the suspension, he may not miss much time. Thanks to an off-day in the schedule Thursday and another on Monday, Dempster could pitch as early as Tuesday when the Sox are home against the Orioles.
On Monday, manager John Farrell said he didn't expect further discipline for his pitcher.
"I don't expect them to do anything,'' said Farrell. "Certainly, they're going to review and deem what's necessary. Some are going to take the viewpoint that it was intentional; I don't see it that way. I said (Sunday) night, during the broadcast and after the game, Ryan's got to establish his fastball. He's got to establish it in against certain righthanded hitters.
"His slider and split are critical to him and if he has righthanded hitters leaning out over the plate . . . we saw two at-bats later what could happen: that ball gets driven out to center field (for a homer). So he's got to earn his part of the plate in so he has the ability to go away at some point. Unfortunately, the 3-and-0 pitch got away from him.
"Again, my view is it wasn't intentional. So I'm not the one making the decision or reviewing it. I can express my opinion and state what I saw, which was exactly that. I didn't see it as being intentional.''