Archive: August 11th, 2010

K-Rod KOs Father-in-Law

The Mets rollercoaster season turned toward the bizarre when it was reported by Kevin Burkhardt on SNY that closer Francisco Rodriguez was involved in an altercation that resulted in his father-in-law being transported via ambulance to a hospital after Wednesday night’s game.

Per Burkhardt, K-Rod was particularly annoyed and rude with reporters who tried to question him in the clubhouse immediately after the game. It is assumed that Rodriguez was upset about being held out of the ballgame, and having to watch Manny Acosta give up the game-changing grand slam to Melvin Mora.

After Rodriguez brushed off reporters, there was a meeting behind closed doors that eventually required police to enter and the ambulance to be called.

At the time of this post, there were no details regarding how or why K-Rod’s father-in-law required a trip to the hospital.

Very strange, and I don’t even know how to react to this. Could K-Rod really have been so upset about not being called in for a four-out save that he assaulted a family member? I sincerely hope not … it’s only baseball, it’s a GAME, for goodness sakes. No matter how bad the Mets do, no matter how poorly any player performs, not matter how frustrating a player may get, in the end it is a game — and one that players get paid an obscene amount to simply show up and put on a uniform (see: Perez, Oliver). I understand pride and passion but jeez Louise — if playing baseball causes someone to deck a family member, that someone has some major mental issues.

****** UPDATE ******

According to the Associated Press and The Daily News, K-Rod has been arrested and has been charged with third-degree assault. Well, at least he won’t have to worry about whether or not he’s getting into games.

Adam Rubin of ESPN-NY has regular updates on the story here.

Contrary to various, erroneous reports, K-Rod’s father-in-law is NOT Brian Bruney, Tony Bernazard, nor Randy Niemann. Hmm … is this a pattern?

New York Penal Code: Assault in the Third Degree

From the ypdcrime site:

S 120.00 Assault in the third degree.
A person is guilty of assault in the third degree when:
1. With intent to cause physical injury to another person, he causes
such injury to such person or to a third person; or
2. He recklessly causes physical injury to another person; or
3. With criminal negligence, he causes physical injury to another
person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument.
Assault in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor.

Class A Misdemeanor

§ 70.15 Sentences of imprisonment for misdemeanors and violation.
1. Class A misdemeanor. A sentence of imprisonment for a class A misdemeanor shall be a definite sentence. When such a sentence is imposed the term shall be fixed by the court, and shall not exceed one year; provided, however, that a sentence of imprisonment imposed upon a conviction of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree as defined in subdivision one of section 265.01 must be for a period of no less than one year when the conviction was the result of a plea of guilty entered in satisfaction of an indictment or any count thereof charging the defendant with the class D violent felony offense of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree as defined in subdivision four of section 265.02, except that the court may impose any other sentence authorized by law upon a person who has not been previously convicted in the five years immediately preceding the
commission of the offense for a felony or a class A misdemeanor defined in this chapter, if the court having regard to the nature and circumstances of the crime and to the history and character of the
defendant, finds on the record that such sentence would be unduly harsh and that the alternative sentence would be consistent with public safety and does not deprecate the seriousness of the crime.

In completely unrelated news, the “Amityville Horror” house is back on the market.

Bobby Ojeda’s Take

On Twitter I saw a few people upset with Bobby Ojeda’s judgemental comments during SNY’s coverage of the incident (which by the way, reminded me of SNL’s “Buckwheat is Dead” skit … wow, how old am I?).

I have to disagree with those who found it “unprofessional” of Ojeda to present his opinion, citing that he should’ve acted more like a “news anchor”. Why? Because Ojeda is NOT a “news anchor”, and in fact he is paid by SNY to provide his personal analysis, and commentary. Yes this was a news item but nonetheless Ojeda is not a news reporter — he is an ex-jock whose role is provide his opinion from the perspective of a pro baseball player.

Without Ojeda’s insight and “holier than thou” judgment, SNY’s coverage would’ve been even more monotonous than it was. You may or may not have agreed with Bobby’s old-school commentary, but chances are you listened and felt something one way or the other. I was particularly interested to watch Ojeda’s tension and body language as he got riled up when speaking about K-Rod’s altercation earlier in the year with Bobby’s pal Randy Niemann — it was a very personal angle that added passion to what would’ve been much more boring reporting.

CNN regularly brings in “analysts” to provide their opinion on breaking news, and no one condemns them for being “unprofessional” — so why get on Bobby?


Mets Game 113: Loss to Rockies

Rockies 6 Mets 2

As late as the 7th inning, the Mets looked like they might add to their already MLB-leading total of 16 shutouts. Instead, they added to their MLB-leading total of grand slams allowed, pushing the number to 9 and in turn losing both the shutout and the ballgame.

Game Notes

Jonathon Niese was, once again, absolutely brilliant. He hurled 7 full innings, allowing only one run on 5 hits, walking none and striking out 7. Unfortunately for Niese, the Mets were paralyzed by Rockies starter Jeff Francis, who allowed two runs on only 3 hits.

Niese did not allow a leadoff batter to reach base until the seventh frame.

This was the seventh time that Niese spun seven innings and allowed one run or less — he leads all rookies in this stat. The last time a Met rookie accomplished such a feat was in 1984, when Ron Darling did it seven times and Dwight Gooden did it 15 times.

As if this loss wasn’t bad enough, there were reports that Jon Niese had some leg issues after the game. According to Jerry Manuel, Niese was removed because of that leg problem. According to Niese, the leg issue had nothing to do with being removed. According to Joe Janish, Manuel’s recent double-talk and contradictions are good practice for a successful career in politics.

Hisanori Takahashi was tabbed as the “8th inning guy”, but was removed after he retired two and let two on. I guess he was really the “two-thirds of the 8th inning guy”.

Speaking of, I can’t figure how or why Takahashi allowed those two baserunners after getting two outs in the 8th. I mean, we just saw him succeed in the 8th inning role 24 hours prior.

Further, it’s absolutely baffling that Manny Acosta was unable to retire any of the five batters he faced en route to blowing the ballgame. I mean, he’s been SO GOOD since being promoted from AAA. Of course, it’s not nearly as mysterious as the sudden drop in performances by Raul Valdes and Bobby Parnell. It’s like the Mets are snakebit, seeing all these ordinary pitchers regress to the mean.

The Mets bullpen has a 6.08 ERA in August.

David Wright struck out 4 times in 4 plate appearances. Ouch. He is pulling his head off the ball on every swing, and continuing to “load up” and take really healthy cuts even with two strikes. Whatever happened to the guy who used to cut down his swing and go the other way when the situation demanded it, making him such a dangerous and effective two-strike hitter?

The one bright spot on offense was Angel Pagan‘s first-inning two-run homer. Melvin Mora‘s 8th inning grand slam might have been a bright spot if Mora were still wearing a Mets uniform. Alas, that was a long, long time ago.

Chris Iannetta‘s sac fly in the seventh plated the first run the Rockies scored against the Mets since April 14th.

At one point in the game, the Rockies struck out seven consecutive Mets, all swinging.

The Mets had one baserunner after the first inning — a single by Henry Blanco in the fifth.

The Mets have now gone 42 consecutive games without winning two in a row. How is that possible?

We can’t blame Jerry Manuel for the strange lineup decisions nor the pitching changes he made — he was simply following his gut to figure out ideal matchups. And we can’t blame Howard Johnson for an offense that is making the 1976 Mets look like The Big Orange Machine. And we can’t blame the Mets for rushing Carlos Beltran back to regular duty when he’s clearly not ready. And we can’t blame Omar Minaya for putting together this .500 team. Whew … thankfully, this is a completely blameless situation. Just a lot of really, really bad luck!

Next Mets Game

The rubber match occurs at 12:10 PM on Thursday afternoon on “getaway day”. Unfortunately for the Mets, they won’t have the opportunity to get away from themselves. Johan Santana goes to the hill against Jason Hammel. Normally, I would feel confident about the Mets chances with that matchup. However, I’m not sure Santana will hit enough to help himself win the game.


August 11: Wednesday Mets Links

Mets Gazette – Alex Cora took the high road in an interview with WFAN’s Boomer and Carton. That’s why he will probably end up on a contender. Good luck Alex!

Daily News – Jose Reyes admits to an occasional lapse of concentration in the field.  Shocker!

MetsBlog – Jeff Francoeur is open to being traded. Thanks Jeff. I’m open to being the King of England, unfortunately, nobody over there is interested in my skill set.

The Mets Police – The cover of the 1982 Mets yearbook is, well, depressing.

Long Island Mets Fan – It looks like Pat Misch may take Takahashi’s spot in the rotation.

Mets Report – Gabe Aguilar takes a look at Brooklyn Cyclones manager Wally Backman.

And finally, Kerel Cooper of gives his thoughts on last night’s performance by Mike Pelfrey:


Trade Carlos Beltran?

Over at mlbtraderumors, Tim Dierkes broached the possibility of trading Carlos Beltran.

Unless the Mets are in dire straits financially and need to further cut payroll next year, I think the whole premise behind trading Beltran is that the Mets would be better off reinvesting most of the money committed to him to a more sure-fire investment, or perhaps fixing a variety of needs at the big league level next year. Despite the immense pressure to win, maybe the Mets will have a hard time adding salary, but I think they will at least try to keep payroll constant.

It is hard for me to opine on this matter, since I do not know who will be available via trade next off-season or much about the free agent market.

But I will say this. Let’s say Beltran gets hot over the next three weeks; I am almost sure he will, if for no other reason than regression to the mean (he is not .612 OPS bad). Say he raises his overall line to a respectable .265/.335/.430. The Mets then trade him to some club offering some B-grade prospects in return for the Mets agreeing to assume around $6 million of the $18.5 milllion Beltran is due next year. That sounds awfully tempting.

I think that is a reasonable deal. Say he matches production similar to his 2007 or 2008 campaigns- an .875 OPS. and an wOBA around .375 or .380. I will be pessimistic and say he costs 10 runs defensively in center, and is merely average defensively in right. Under either scenario, he would be worth roughly 3.5 wins — the market for that is $16 million, and more for a contending ballclub. In fact, thinking about that makes me reluctant to trade him.

In addition, the fanbase’s reception to trading him should not be too worrisome; the Mets can pay Joe Beningo to launch a Soviet-style propaganda campaign aganinst Beltran.

In all seriousness, though, part of this decision will almost certainly hinge on the organization’s faith in Fernando Martinez and how he will perform while with the big club. As I mentioned in my last post, while I am not as worried about the promotion derailing his development, I could envision a scenario where Martinez holds his own at the plate over the remaining short stretch of the season, hitting .270/.335/.430, with an average wOBA (.330-.335), causing the Mets to trade Beltran and making Martinez the starting right fielder next year. We have seen this act before: in 151 plate appearances in 2008, Daniel Murphy hit .313/.397/.473 with a .373 wOBA, and Jerry Manuel declared him the starting left fielder next spring.

Hoping that Martinez will be an even average hitter is probably an unrealistic expectation, considering he only posted a .786 OPS. and a .338 wOBA in AAA this year. Even if Martinez replicated that production in the majors — and I am assuming he would also save 5-10 runs in right field over a full season given his range — you are still looking at a very fringy, about 2-win starter, and there is a whole lot of downside to consider. Given he would be making the league minimum, maybe the Mets are willing to settle for that, but they would be better off saving his cost-controlled years for when he is really ready to be productive.