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And Another Thing

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Associated Press
Dempster

Plunking A-Rod

Yeah, I said it. And if it sounds like prophecy now, rest assured it was just me metaphorically shaking my bony fist as These Kids Today.

"Guys should just start throwing at him," I said, when the subject of the Unsuspended Suspended One, Alex Rodriguez, came up.

Well, Ryan Dempster took me up on it.

Dempster threw not once, not twice, but three times at A-Rod last night, finally plunking the dude. Which sent Yankees manager Joe Girardi into a ballistic episode. And which also got everyone thinking about what Dempster's teammates Jon Lackey and Johnny Gomes said the other day, which is that it was a darn shame A-Rod was being allowed to play.

It is a darn shame. It's also a joke, a farce, and a mockery of justice, such as it exists in baseball.

So, no, I don't particularly have a problem with Dempster throwing at A-Rod. You cheat the game for as long as he's done it, and (apparently) sell out other players to try to save your own skin, you've earned whatever happens to you out there. My advice is practice ducking a lot.

On the other hand ... Lackey and Gomes aren't the one who should be saying the guy shouldn't be playing, because they're the reason he is. It's their players union that negotiated the deal that stipulates players who appeal suspensions can continue to play during the appeal process. So if any players out there don't like the fact A-Rod is playing, they need to look in the mirror. It's their fault.

You don't like him playing, fine. Renegotiate the deal and stipulate that players who are suspended are suspended period, appeal or no appeal. But I'd put real money down that the same guys who are blowholing about A-Rod playing would, at crunch time, be extremely wary about giving up the playing-through-the-appeal clause. 'Cause one day it might be them.

So, for the time being, they need to leave the bony fist shaking to crotchety oafs like me. Hey, at my age, I'm better at it anyway.

Ben Smith's blog.

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