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SI’s Tom Verducci on D&C: Ryan Dempster should be suspended

08.20.13 at 10:00 am ET
By
Tom Verducci

Tom Verducci

Sports Illustrated baseball writer Tom Verducci joined Dennis & Callahan Tuesday morning to talk about the arrival of Xander Bogaerts, the possible suspension of Ryan Dempster and the continued Alex Rodriguez ordeal.

Verducci said that if he were in charge of Major League Baseball, he would suspend Dempster for throwing at Rodriguez Sunday.

“I would, especially based on the [Rick] Porcello precedent,” Verducci said. “Porcello was not ejected from the game when he hit Ben Zobrist and there was a lot of talk from Jim Leyland that the Tigers would retaliate for [Miguel] Cabrera getting hit and thrown at. It seemed obvious to anybody watching the game that Porcello did it on purpose. I don’t know why he wasn’t ejected, but without an ejection he was still suspended.

“I think the same would apply here on the Ryan Dempster case. I haven’t heard anybody in baseball say they did not think it was intentional other than the Red Sox, and obviously they have to do that after a game.”

Dempster’s hitting of Rodriguez is in the past for Red Sox fans, who are prepared to see the future when Bogaerts makes his major league debut Tuesday night. However, Verducci said that the Red Sox are unlikely to move Stephen Drew from his starting role at shortstop and he is interested to see how much playing time Bogaerts gets.

“I’m intrigued to see how often John Farrell can get his name into the lineup,” Verducci said. “The Rangers brought up Jurickson Profar and it has taken a while for that to shake out. It can get a little bit awkward, but I think this kid is good enough where he is going to make it difficult to find ways to keep him out of the lineup.”

Verducci was asked if he thought the Red Sox could possibly trade Drew to make room for Bogaerts. However, with such little time left before the deadline, Verducci said he does not see a trade involving Drew going through.

“I guess a team like St. Louis, which has been running Pete Kozma out there, would have interest in him,” Verduccis said. “I’m not sure that he would be able to get through waivers. It is an interesting question where if you look at Bogaerts over just the next week — even this road trip — and you are convinced after that short of a sample that he is your guy and that you can move Drew, you go ahead and do that. It’s a pretty bold move to make in a short period of time. I wouldn’t expect it to happen though.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

On if the Rodriguez situation will sink to even lower depths: “Unfortunately, it may because we haven’t really hit anywhere near the bottom of the depths that we are going to hit. I think this is going to go on for a very long time. I think the possibility of legal action is definitely out there when you talk about Alex Rodriguez. You’re talking about years. If you sat there on Monday and you were kind of sick of the whole thing and wondering how low could it go, just wait. You’re going to get your answers, because we aren’t even close to a resolution here. You’ve got the Yankees, you’ve got MLB and you’ve got Alex Rodriguez, all with great resources to drag this thing out and make this even — not just longer, but I think uglier. I’ve never heard of a charge as bad as what A-Rod’s people are saying that the Yankees knew that his hip was injured and kept running him out there in the words of his lawyer, ‘like an invalid.’ That would seem to supersede any desires they had of winning a World Series. It sounds like their primary motivation was to make sure that this guy not only stayed hurt, but got hurt even worse. I can’t believe I have heard anything even close to that in professional sports.”

On MLB leaking information to the media: “First of all about the league, that’s not such a big deal. It happens all the time. I’m not sure we are citing all of these leaks to the right sources anyway. Go back to the leaks in the BALCO case and that came from Barry Bonds’s camp. Everyone assumed that maybe it was MLB or maybe the district attorney out there who was leaking it. Don’t assume that it is just from MLB in terms of some of the leaks that are coming out there. I do agree that using ["Today" show host] Matt Lauer as [legendary "Candid Camera" host] Allen Funt if you’re MLB, probably not a good move. It just speaks to the fact that how frustrated they are in terms of dealing with this ever-changing inner circle and bevy of lawyers that A-Rod keeps sending out there. They keep disassembling the truth. They keep trying to do anything to avoid the one question in play, which is, ‘Did Alex Rodriguez use PEDs over a period of years?’ It’s the one question Alex’s people just don’t answer at all and they won’t address. They divert to these other issues, and I think MLB, I think they kind of lost their way to be honest with you in terms of the stunts they pulled. I mean listen, it was great TV. The lawyer definitely had his bluff called and he definitely mishandled it. I call that a definite E-6 on the lawyer’s part. But yeah, I think you definitely make a case that that should not have come out of MLB’s playbook. If you have got the stronger hand, just wait to play your hand if you’ve got all of that evidence.”

On if he believes the Yankees’ team doctor intentionally mishandled Rodriguez’s hip: “I don’t know about believing it. We haven’t seen any evidence of it so far. It’s just a claim. I will say this, that if you’re out there as an attorney and you’re Alex Rodriguez and you’re throwing these things out there and you’re threatening a lawsuit against the Yankees and their medical people, I don’t think you’re just holding a pair of deuces in your hand at the time. You must have something that gives you confidence to believe that there is something there, even if there is a bluff to play a bluff. You have got to have something there to make you believe that you can extend the bluff and make a play on this regard. I don’t know that I totally believe it, but I believe that they think they have something there. I think right now Alex Rodriguez is just so dangerous as an opponent or an enemy of MLB and/or the Yankees because I don’t think he is playing again once his suspension is served. I think he knows that. He has nothing left to save at this point, so where is the end point? Is the end game to take other people down with him? If that’s the case, then he is even more dangerous than the Yankees or MLB first thought.”

Read More: Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Dempster, Tom Verducci, xander bogaerts
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