New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi was livid, veins bulging in his neck, as he peppered home plate umpire Brian O'Nora with profanity after Boston's Ryan Dempster hit Alex Rodriguez in the left elbow on a 3-0 pitch.
Red Sox fans proclaimed Dempster a hero and many folks wondered why Girardi would stand up so forcefully over the plunking of a player regarded by many as the scourge of baseball. Three days later, they got their answer.
In the span of just a few hours on Wednesday night, Jason Heyward's jaw was broken by an errant pitch in a Braves-Mets game, and a floating knuckleball broke the left hand of Yankees infielder Jayson Nix. Neither pitcher in those instances earned a suspension like Dempster. But the accidental injuries underlined Girardi's point about just how dangerous it can be when a pitcher decides to take matters into his own hands.
One little slip, one sweaty palm, one ill-timed flick of the wrist can mean the difference between some harmless chin music that ca...