Ortiz on Dempster hitting A-Rod: ‘Didn’t like it’

Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz. (AP)

Alex Rodriguez has countless critics, but he also has supporters, including the longest-tenured member of the Boston Red Sox.

David Ortiz came to Rodriguez’s defence Wednesday, explaining to Jorge L. Ortiz of USA Today that he disapproved of Ryan Dempster’s decision to hit A-Rod with a pitch in Sunday night’s nationally televised game between Rodriguez’s New York Yankees and Ortiz’s Red Sox.

“I didn’t like it. I don’t think it was the right thing to do,” Ortiz told USA Today. “But we don’t all think alike, and the guy who did it, Dempster, is a great guy. It’s not that I didn’t think it was right because Alex and I are friends, because once you cross the white lines, everyone’s on their own.”

Dempster threw at Rodriguez multiple times with apparent intention to plunk him before hitting his target. MLB has since suspended Dempster for five games and fined him an undisclosed amount.

Meanwhile, the Yankees have not lost since Sunday and are now back in the mix for a playoff berth, four games behind the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics in the Wild Card chase.

Ortiz’s Red Sox lead the American League East, but their one-game edge over the Tampa Bay Rays isn’t quite large enough for Ortiz’s liking.

“We’ve got Tampa right on our heels, and that pitch woke up a monster in the Yankees’ team at that moment,” he told USA Today. “You’re talking about a good team that you can’t wake up. But we learn from our mistakes.”

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.