MLB gives umpires 'heads up' before start of Yankees-Red Sox series
Following the Ryan Dempster-Alex Rodriguez incident last month, MLB gave their umpires a "heads up" before the Yankees and Red Sox met on Thursday.
The last time the Yankees and Red Sox met, Ryan Dempster intentionally threw at (and hit) Alex Rodriguez for his role in baseball's latest performance-enhancing drug scandal. Both benches cleared and Dempster was eventually suspended five games for his actions.
The two teams are kicking off a four-game weekend series on Thursday, the first time they're meeting since the incident. According to the Associated Press, Major League Baseball sent a "heads up" notice to the umpiring crew to remind them of the bad blood. Crew chief Joe West said this was standard protocol whenever two clubs meet for the first time following some kind of incident.
Although the Yankees and Red Sox will play four games, Dempster is not scheduled to pitch in the series. The two teams meet again next weekend in Fenway Park and he does line up to pitch in that series. Dempster has started two games since serving the suspension, which he did not appeal.
A-Rod is appealing his 211-game suspension and has hit .277/.370/.436 (121 OPS+) with four home runs 26 games since coming off the DL.