MLB did as little as it could to actually punish Ryan Dempster after he threw at Alex Rodriguez during Sunday night's Yankees-Red Sox game. Dempster was handed a five game suspension and an undisclosed fine by the league, about as close to a slap on the wrist as you can get. His suspension is also with pay, so unless his fine is equal to five game checks, he's not even going to feel the sting in his wallet too much.
Dempster's next start was scheduled to be on Saturday in Los Angeles. Assuming Dempster doesn't appeal the suspension, and due to an off day on Thursday, the Red Sox can simply move Jon Lester and Jake Peavy up a day to start the final two games against the Dodgers on regular rest. The Red Sox also have an off day next Monday, meaning that they can start Dempster on Tuesday and give 25-year old Felix Doubront an extra day of rest by starting him on Wednesday instead of his usually scheduled Tuesday.
While this suspension might prevent an open season on Rodriguez, it's not going to really punish Dempster for his actions. Great, you've accomplished nothing. Once again, MLB is on top of disciplining their players.