Major League Baseball pretty much has to suspend Ryan Dempster, right?

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Not an original thought — I saw a lot of people including Keith Law say it last night — but after Ryan Dempster clearly and repeatedly threw at Alex Rodriguez last night, they have to suspend him, don’t they? If they don’t, doesn’t every pitcher in baseball get carte blanche to throw at A-Rod too?

What’s more, if you don’t suspend Dempster in that situation — a situation in which almost every other pitcher gets a suspension — don’t you give fuel to A-Rod’s “Major League Baseball is Out to Get Me” defense his lawyers have been floating lately?

It seems clear, but I feel like silly thinking like this from Joel Sherman may prove pretty common too:

 

A “tacit defense?” Not sure how it could be seen that way. It would really just be a matter of enforcing the rules that have always existed. And, as we noted earlier, it’s not at all clear that’s why Dempster was throwing at Rodriguez anyway.

Strip away the drama and it’s a pretty simple situation: one player was acting in a low rent fashion, the other was shaking it all off and leading his team to victory in such a manner as it could very well turn their season around.

All Hail A-Rod.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.