The Boston Red Sox' lead in the American League East? One game (as of this afternoon). The suspension just handed down to Ryan Dempster, one of their best pitchers, for hitting Alex Rodriguez? Five games. Watching A-Rod squirm in pain and uniting Red Sox and Yankee fans in a shared sense of schadenfreude? Priceless.

Ryan Dempster was given his five-game suspension this afternoon, two days after plunking A-Rod in the arm during the second inning of Sunday's Boston-New York game. It was fairly obvious what Dempster was after: it took him four pitches to nail A-Rod, one of which sailed behind the Yankees' third basemen's legs. Although Ryan Dempster and the Sox denied there was any intent behind the pitch, Major League Baseball disagreed, determining that Dempster was guilty of "intentionally throwing at and hitting" A-Rod.

The Red Sox are in the midst of a tight playoff race, but Ryan Dempster's suspension may not hamper them too much—if he accepts the suspension today, Boston can juggle its rotation so that he won't even miss a start. So, totally worth it? We say so, especially since it gave A-Rod the chance to play comedian. The jury's still out though: we need to know what Papoose thinks of the situation before we pass judgement.

[via MLB.com]