Ryan Dempster facing suspension

SAN FRANCISCO — Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster is likely to be suspended by Major League Baseball at some point today for intentionally hitting controversial Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez on Sunday night.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that news earlier today and several MLB sources confirmed that an announcement is pending.

Dempster threw his first pitch behind Rodriguez, threw two pitches inside and then hit Rodriguez on the elbow. He was not ejected.

“That baseball is a weapon. It’s not a tennis ball. … It’s a weapon, and it can do a lot of damage to someone’s life,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Tuesday before the Yankees played a doubleheader against Toronto.

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“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.”

Girardi was ejected Sunday and nearly punched umpire Brian O’Nora as he flailed his arms about in anger.

Dempster being suspended would not affect the rotation much. With Thursday’s day off, the Sox could go with John Lackey, Jon Lester, and Jake Peavy against the Dodgers. They’re also off on Monday.

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