Major League Baseball has suspended pitcher Ryan Dempster of the Boston Red Sox for "intentionally throwing at and hitting" Alex Rodriguez during a game on Sunday.
MLB said Dempster would be suspended for five games and fined for the pitch.
Dempster could still play if he appeals the penalty. Boston has off days Thursday and Monday, allowing him to serve the suspension while getting pushed back only a couple days in the Red Sox rotation.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi was also fined for an argument with the umpire.
Girardi said Tuesday before the Yankees' doubleheader against Toronto that a baseball is a "weapon" that can "do a lot of damage to someone's life."
"And that's why I was so upset about it. You can express your opinion and be upset with someone, but you just can't start throwing baseballs at people. I mean, it's scary."
Dempster threw one pitch behind A-Rod's knees and two more inside in the second inning at Fenway Park on Sunday. Then his 3-0 pitch struck Rodriguez's left elbow pad and ricocheted off his back.
Girardi sprinted onto the field, screaming at plate umpire Brian O'Nora for not ejecting the pitcher. Girardi was tossed as the benches and bullpens emptied, and Rodriguez homered off Dempster to spark a sixth-inning rally that lifted New York to a 9-6 win.
Girardi said his profane rant probably was the angriest he's been on a ballfield.
Rodriguez was suspended for 211 games on Aug. 5 for violating baseball's drug and labor agreements but is playing while he appeals. Red Sox pitcher John Lackey criticized the rules last week for allowing A-Rod to play.
Dempster maintained he was just pitching inside and wasn't trying to hit Rodriguez.
New York didn't retaliate Sunday. Girardi wouldn't say whether there is a need to respond when the teams next meet, at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 5.
Girardi said "protecting your own" in baseball has gone on for "for a long time. And unfortunately you're part of those situations sometimes, but that's part of the game."
The manager also discussed the matter with his 6-year-old son, Dante.
"Part of pitching is pitching inside, that's all part of it," he recalled saying. "But I don't ever want you to hit anyone on purpose."
Published at 3:31 PM EST on Aug 20, 2013
Copyright Associated Press / NBC New York