Before you laud Ryan Dempster as The Defender of the Non-PED Users …

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The narrative after last night’s crazy Red Sox-Yankees game is probably going to center on Ryan Dempster hitting Alex Rodriguez with a pitch and all of the drama which surrounded it. That narrative is also likely to include a heavy dose of people excusing Dempster for throwing at A-Rod because A-Rod is evil and Dempster was standing up for those who don’t cheat, snitch and all of that stuff.

Before you hop on that train, however, check out these tweets from hockey journalist Wane Scanlan, which were highlighted in Dave Brown’s post over at Big League Stew:

Maybe it’s easy to hate A-Rod, but it would seem that Dempster already had a beef with A-Rod and it wasn’t about anything as high-minded as professional integrity.

Whatever animated Dempster, it was still pretty stupid. Even if you hate A-Rod for all of the best reasons on the planet, putting him on in that situation and giving what has been a listless Yankees team of late some baserunners and some motivation was dumb. And, as we’ve said several times around these parts, throwing at batters is dumb as a general rule. If it was about some petty personal snub it was triply dumb.

Didi Gregorius will wear a mask during games

Gregorius will wear a mask
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Didi Gregorius will wear a mask during games this year. That’s what the Phillies infielder tells the Philadelphia Inquirer:

“We are trying to go through the guidelines and trying to do everything we can do to stay safe, so, that’s why people see me walking around with a mask on and stuff. I am keeping myself safe, wearing a mask everywhere I go. So, I have to keep it on me all the time.”

Gregorius will wear a mask both while batting and out in the field, he said.

A big reason for it is that he has a chronic kidney condition which makes him “high risk” under Major League Baseball’s safety protocols. He could opt out if he wanted to but Gregorius, who signed a $14 million deal with the Phillies last winter, is a free agent again this coming offseason. He is coming off of a down year in 2019, having hit .238/.276/.441 with 16 home runs and 61 RBI across 344 plate appearances. Gregorius underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2018 and didn’t make his 2019 season debut until June 7. A big reason he took a one-year deal was to reestablish his value for next season’s go-around on the free agent market and he doesn’t want the long layoff going into what could be his last significant payday.

Major League Baseball is not requiring players or umpires to wear masks on the field during games or practices, though it is reportedly looking into clear face shields for home plate umpires to wear under their usual protective masks.

Gregorius will wear a mask to keep himself safe, he said, but he also notes in the article that “I think it adds safety for everybody, for me and people around me.” Here’s hoping, given his vulnerability, everyone around him is being as safe as he is.