Boston pitcher Ryan Dempster is nothing if not persistent, taking more than one attempt before giving Red Sox fans what they apparently wanted to see Sunday -- controversial New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez getting nailed by a pitch.
Rodriguez, who is allowed to keep playing while appealing a 211-game suspension by Major League Baseball in the Biogenesis drug case, was booed by the crowd at Fenway Park all night, starting with his initial appearance in the on-deck circle during the first inning.
The jeers grew louder -- including the chant, "You're a cheater!" -- when he entered the batter's box to lead off the second inning, then turned to cheers when A-Rod was sent flailing after Dempster's first pitch went behind the batter's knees.
Two pitches later, a Dempster fastball struck Rodriguez in the elbow and ricocheted off his back, again to the delight of the crowd -- and to the dismay of Yankees Manager Joe Girardi, who was enraged that Dempster was allowed to stay in the game (both sides received a warning).
But Girardi was not. He was ejected from the game after arguing with home plate umpire Brian O'Nora.
“Whether I agree with everything that's going on, you do not throw at people and you don't take the law into your own hands,” Girardi said. “You can't just start taking potshots because you disagree with the way the system is set up.”
Dempster denied intentionally throwing at Rodriguez. The Yankees third baseman wasn't buying it.
“Whether you like me or hate me, what's wrong is wrong,” he said. “That was unprofessional and silly.”
Rodriguez responded in a more professional manner by sending a Dempster pitch out of the park to spark a four-run sixth inning that led to a 9-6 Yankees victory.