Should the Mets try to dump K-Rod?

August, 16, 2010
8/16/10
6:46
PM ET
This story just keeps getting better. Or worse. Or something:
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New York Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez suffered a torn ligament in his right thumb while allegedly striking the grandfather of his children last week at Citi Field, a team official said.

Rodriguez, who pitched Saturday with discomfort in his return from a two-day team suspension, was examined Monday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. Team doctors recommended surgery, but a date for the procedure has yet to be scheduled.

Rodriguez was charged with third-degree assault and second-degree harassment as a result of the incident in the family room at Citi Field last Wednesday.

"You can make the assumption that the injury resulted from the incident last week," the official said.
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Rodriguez lost $125,000 in salary during his two-day team-imposed suspension, and could be in line to forfeit the salary for the remainder of the season if a non-baseball event resulted in the injury, as is alleged. Rodriguez is making $11.5 million this season. It is unclear if the Mets would try to void Rodriguez's entire contract which runs next year and has a vesting option for 2012.Assuming that he's healthy after the surgery, I'm not sure why the Mets would want to void Rodriguez's entire contract. I wasn't a big fan of the contract when he got it, because I don't think closers are worth (almost) $12 million per season. But that is what they get, and if the Mets are going to overpay for a closer, they might as well overpay for this one.

Unless ... and I want to be very clear about this ... unless (theoretically) axing Rodriguez is part of a larger strategy that involves spending money more wisely and (or) not putting up with ridiculously anti-social behavior.

Given the Mets' recent history, I doubt if such a strategy is in the offing. Considering the ownership in place and ownership's apparent confidence in the general manager, I expect more of the same in the next two or three years. In which case they might as well keep K-Rod around. It's not like he's the only major leaguer with a bad and sometimes violent temper. Not even close.

What the Mets should do is force Rodriguez -- between his anger-management classes and his injury rehab -- to watch Bull Durham a few dozen times. Shoot, even I know you're not supposed to punch a guy with your pitching hand.

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