SAN FRANCISCO -- Boston's Ryan Dempster accepted his punishment without admitting any misdeed.
Dempster was suspended for five games and fined by Major League Baseball on Tuesday for intentionally hitting New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez with a pitch last weekend.
While Dempster still maintains he was only trying to establish the inside part of the plate and wasn't trying to hit Rodriguez on purpose, he will not contest the punishment and began serving it Tuesday.
"I thought about appealing," Dempster said before Boston played the Giants. "At the end of the day, I think Major League Baseball does a really good job of thinking through punishments before they hand them out. I thought it was in the best interest of us as a team to go ahead and serve my suspension."
MLB senior vice president Joe Garagiola Jr. announced the penalty two days after Dempster hit A-Rod in the second inning at Fenway Park. Yankees manager Joe Girardi was fined for arguing with plate umpire Brian O'Nora.
Dempster's fine was $2,500 and Girardi's was $5,000, people familiar with the discipline told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the amounts were not announced.
Dempster was scheduled to pitch Saturday at the Los Angeles Dodgers but now could be pushed back to next Tuesday's homestand opener against Baltimore. He will throw a simulated game on Friday.
Matsuzaka released: The Indians released right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka on Tuesday at his request, giving the Japanese veteran a chance to catch on with another team after failing to secure a spot in Cleveland's rotation.
Mauer placed on DL: Minnesota Twins star Joe Mauer has been placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list after he experienced dizziness during his pregame route and was scratched from the lineup against the Detroit Tigers.
NFL Films lawsuit: Five Hall of Famers have filed a class-action suit to reclaim payment from the NFL and NFL Films for the use of their names, likenesses and images without the players' consent.
The case was filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey on Tuesday on behalf of a group that includes Dave Casper, Curley Culp, Tom Mack, John Riggins and Ron Yary.
Smith suspended: Alabama coach Nick Saban has suspended cornerback Geno Smith for the season opener with Virginia Tech after a weekend drunken driving arrest.
Smith, a projected starter at nickel back, was arrested Sunday morning and charged with DUI. The sophomore was at practice Tuesday for the top-ranked Crimson Tide.
Cavs sign Bennett: The Cavaliers have signed Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft, to his guaranteed rookie contract.
The Cavs also said they have finalized their deals with first-round pick Sergey Karasev, a guard from Russia, and second-round selection Carrick Felix from Arizona State.
Professor Tressel: It's now Professor Tressel.
Former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel will teach a course this fall at the University of Akron, where he has worked in an administration role for the past two years. He will instruct students in "General Principles of Coaching" with former Zips coach Jim Dennison, who was Akron's coach when Tressel began his coaching career at the school as an assistant in 1974.
Pistorius settlement: The families of Oscar Pistorius and his slain girlfriend are in contact, a lawyer for Reeva Steenkamp's parents said Tuesday.
The communication between the two families is over a possible out-of-court settlement that would compensate the Steenkamps for the killing of their daughter by the double-amputee Olympian, according to South African press reports.