Tag: k-rod

Parnell Endorsed By K-Rod As Mets Next Closer

This season Francisco Rodriguez has served as a bullpen mentor for Bobby Parnell, even endorsing the hard-throwing righty just last week.

Rodriguez said this about Parnell’s closing abilities:

He can do it and he knows it. I love that kid. I talk to him a lot and I love him. He’s a guy who comes here everyday trying to improve himself to get better and better. He definitely has the tools.

Parnell was crowned the 8th-inning man for the Mets in spring training but had a 6.14 ERA in April when he was placed on the disabled list with circulatory issues in his right hand. Since returning to the Mets on June 2nd, he regularly hit 100 mph  on radar guns, has only 3 earned runs in 17 1/3 innings with a 1.56 ERA.

GM Sandy Alderson told reporters on Wednesday that there are strong candidates in the existing bullpen who can take on the closer role.

Izzy has been in that role before, and pitched effectively in that role and effectively for us, this year. And the way Bobby Parnell has thrown the last three weeks or so has been impressive and also was a factor.

Alderson went on to say that those decisions will be best left up for Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen to address.


K-Rod May Not Close for Brewers

Though we really shouldn’t care about K-Rod now that he’s left the Mets, it’s interesting — to me, anyway — that he is going to a below-the-radar team that already has a closer, but a “no-name” one at that.

I imagined that K-Rod would wind up with someone like the Yankees — who have Mariano Rivera — or the Red Sox (Jon Papelbon), and he’d have no choice but to be happy in a setup role. On a big-market team with a well-known closer, K-Rod wouldn’t really have the option of demanding to close.

But now that he’s a Brewer, K-Rod and his new agent Scott Boras may do just that.

My ESPN SweetSpot colleague Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker had this immediate reaction to the trade:


Beltran Ok With Playing in Boston

Carlos Beltran is starting to sound a lot like K-Rod nowadays.

He recently told the Boston Herald of his feelings toward being traded to the Red Sox.

They’re in first place. It’s a no-brainer. Boston is a great team. Like I say man, the Mets know that I have made it clear to them , I’m willing to listen if they want to trade me. All I want to be is on a team that has a chance to go to the playoffs. I know that there are a lot of teams out there having a good season.

I think we all can understand that baseball is a business but where is the loyalty with these players nowadays? Reyes is saying all of the right things as far as his feelings toward staying with the Mets while K-Rod (who is now gone) and Beltran have already put one foot (or shoddy knee) out of the door. K-Rod couldn’t out of New York fast enough — as he made crystal clear — and now Beltran is following suit.


K-Rod Traded to Brewers

The fire sale has officially begun: Francisco Rodriguez has been traded to the Brewers for two players to be named later.

Obviously, a team looking to contend for the postseason does not trade their closer. So, expect to see more trades coming as the Mets sell off their most valuable assets and build for 2012 and beyond.

I would guess that Jason Isringhausen becomes the Mets’ closer for the short-term, though they might choose to do a “closer by committee” and include Bobby Parnell and possibly Pedro Beato or Tim Byrdak. Yes, Tim Byrak, because he gets lots of swings and misses, and it could make sense to showcase him in a closer role for a week or two to develop more interest in him as trade bait.

So, what is your immediate reaction to this news? Share in the comments.


Francisco Rodriguez Signs with Scott Boras

Per the official New York Mets website on MLB.com, Francisco Rodriguez has ditched agent Paul Kinzer for Scott Boras.

I don’t know how this can be good for the Mets.

As we all know, K-Rod is only 21 finishes away from the pot of gold — the $17.5M option for 2012 that automatically vests when Frankie finishes his 55th game. The cash-strapped Mets, of course, need to find a way to avoid paying $17.5M to a closer next year. They can’t keep him from finishing games or the MLBPA will be all over them. So the alternative is to trade him to another team — presumably one that needs him as a setup man, since it’s unlikely there are any teams out there who want to pay a closer not named Mariano $17.5M, either.

I’m not smart enough to know exactly how the Boras factor will play into the Mets’ ability to deal K-Rod, but my gut feeling is that somehow this will affect the dynamic of shipping him elsewhere. Who knows, maybe it could be a good thing. For example, maybe Boras can find a team that will take Rodriguez as a closer while simultaneously dropping the option and giving him a 3-year extension. Certainly, there are a few teams in the hunt who can use a lights-out closer.

What are your thoughts? Is the Boras factor a good thing, bad thing, or will he have no effect at all on the Mets’ ability to trade K-Rod? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.


Will White Sox Want K-Rod?

Yesterday was the non-tendering deadline, and as a result one of the biggest names to hit the free-agent market was White Sox closer Bobby Jenks.

This leaves the ChiSox without a legitimate 9th-inning man, since J.J. Putz is also a free agent.

The White Sox also have signed Adam Dunn to a 4-year deal, and re-signed catcher A.J. Pierzynski. It is also rumored that they will find a way to bring Paul Konerko back. Looking at these moves, and their heavily veteran roster, this team is built to win now — and GM Kenny Williams seems intent on improving upon last year’s 88-74 record by providing Ozzie Guillen with all the talent he needs.

It seems like an ideal situation for Francisco Rodriguez.


K-Rod Activated, Mets Remain Impotent

According to The New York Times, Francisco Rodriguez has completed his two-day suspension, has agreed to participate in anger management treatment, and will return to the Mets roster today.

Per The Times:

In fact, the Mets were considering a more severe punishment but settled on two games because the union agreed to the two games in consultation with Major League Baseball.

“We felt that was the right thing,” Minaya said, “and of course any time you do these things you also have to have conversations with the players association. We felt it was something we needed to do. We felt we needed to act upon it immediately.”

This followed up Thursday’s official statement from the Mets:

The New York Mets today announced they are taking the following disciplinary action against pitcher Francisco Rodriguez: The team has placed Rodriguez on the restricted list for two days. He will be removed from the roster, will not be with the team, and will not be paid during that time.

“Ownership and the organization are very disappointed in Francisco’s inappropriate behavior and we take this matter very seriously,” said Mets COO Jeff Wilpon.

Once again, the Mets show their impotence, and cower to the opinions of others rather than taking the bull by the horns and making their own decision on a situation.

If the Mets cared one bit about their “brand”, the team, their fans, Francisco Rodriguez, and Rodriguez’s family, the punishment would have been delivered harsher, swifter, and with conviction. But the Mets don’t have the chutzpah or the cojones to make a decision on their own, and don’t know what’s “right” until others tell them.

Two days? Really? That’s “taking the matter very seriously”? And one of those didn’t count because it was spent in jail and court. And considering that Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey both pitched complete games, K-Rod didn’t really miss anything other than the $125K taken from his salary.

Jeff Wilpon had the opportunity to set the tone, to act as a potent leader, by acting swiftly and confidently. He could have said the Mets do not and will not tolerate such behavior on their property from anyone, and followed his “harsh words” with action — a one-month suspension, for example. Then, we wouldn’t have had to be subjected to the irrational comments of Jerry Manuel later that Thursday morning, who said he wouldn’t hesitate to use K-Rod if he were available. You can’t blame Manuel for saying such an idiotic thing, because the bosses above him were just as clueless and impotent as he was. Manuel wasn’t sure because Minaya wasn’t sure, and Minaya wasn’t sure because Wilpon wasn’t sure.

And even if Wilpon wasn’t sure of exactly what he wanted to do, he still had a chance to appear firm. Instead of conferring with MLB and the MLBPA, the Mets could have immediately announced that K-Rod was suspended indefinitely, and then let the MLBPA file a protest against them. Maybe K-Rod would still wind up with only a two-game suspension, but at least the Mets take a stand for themselves and publicly show that they are more concerned with preserving respect for their organization than in appeasing everyone. Let the MLBPA look like the bad guys for changing the punishment to a mere slap on the wrist.

Does anyone remember the last time a fireballing Mets relief pitcher was arrested in Flushing for assaulting a family member? It wasn’t that long ago that Ambiorix Burgos beat up his girlfriend in an eerily similar fashion — throwing her up against a wall, slapping her, and punching her to the ground. Just as similar was the Mets’ reaction to the news that Burgos had been arrested; from ESPN / AP:

The Mets said they were “disturbed by the allegations.” They said Burgos was in town for reasons unrelated to the team.

How did the Mets react then? They didn’t. Burgos was still technically in the minors, recovering from Tommy John surgery. So, rather than address the situation — possibly by suspending him or arranging anger management counseling — The Mets did what they thought was best — they ignored the situation and waited for it to go away. Eventually, it DID go away — Burgos went back to his home in the Dominican Republic and allegedly ran over two women with his SUV.

Burgos wasn’t officially on the 25-man roster at the time, so it was a different situation than the present one. The Mets didn’t really “need” Burgos like they “need” K-Rod right now. Maybe Jeff Wilpon didn’t act swifty and with certainty because he feared losing more games without a closer, and in turn losing more ticket sales.

One has to wonder: what if it was Oliver Perez who was arrested for assault in the Mets’ family room? Would he have been “punished” for only two days? Or would the Mets, MLB, and MLBPA agreed on, say, a 30-day, with-pay suspension so he could focus on “family matters”, psychiatric help, and anger management treatment?