The Mets are struggling to stay afloat, and Francisco Rodriguez isn’t helping.
Mets manager Jerry Manuel overlooked Rodriguez in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game, electing to bring in Manny Acosta instead. The decision backfired, and Acosta allowed yet another late lead slip away, giving up a two-out grand slam to Melvin Mora in a 6-2 loss to the Rockies.
After the game, Rodriguez was none too pleased with Manuel’s decision.
"Did I [bleeping] pitch?" Rodriguez snapped at reporters, according to the New York Post. "Why should I talk to you guys?
Shortly thereafter, he was arrested and charged with third-degree assault for allegedly getting into a physical altercation with his father-in-law outside the Mets clubhouse.
The father-in-law suffered facial abrasions and was taken to the hospital, the New York Daily News reports.
Rodriguez’ involvement in the assault hasn’t been proven, but if it’s true, the Mets have a whole new problem on their hands.
His temper is no secret. He’s already had a confrontation with bullpen coach Randy Niemann this year. And with the current state of the Mets, it’s no wonder Rodriguez would be frustrated. But if he’s found guilty of the assault, he could be suspended, forcing the Mets to play without him. In fact, he could be suspended anyway for the arrest.
Rodriguez’s emotions run high, and his volatility isn’t ideal for any clubhouse. But for all of his faults, he’s a key part of the team. Rodriguez currently has an ERA of 2.25 and ranks seventh in the NL in saves, with 25.
The Mets don’t have much hope this season. They are currently nine-and-a-half games behind NL East-leading Atlanta and eight games behind wild card-leading San Francisco. The offense is in a slump, and the team clearly can’t depend on the bullpen. Losing Rodriguez to a suspension could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for this flailing franchise.
Perhaps having no Rodriguez at all is worse than having to deal with Rodriguez’ tantrums.