New York – Top of the ninth Saturday evening and Francisco Rodriguez came out of the pen at Citi Field. It was the more familiar surroundings of the bullpen, not a holding pen at Citi Field where he was retained after his altercation Wednesday evening stemming from an ugly incident with his girlfriend’s father.
The subsequent arrest of the New York Mets closer, which caused a two game suspension was quickly becoming a thing of the past after he reportedly offered an apology to his teammates But to the fans at Citi Field there was no sympathy,
“No curious at all,” said Rodriguez about the loud boos that were heard when he got the call to pitch the ninth. He threw a scoreless inning and gave up a hit in the Mets 4-0 loss to the Phillies. “It’s something I can’t control,” he said about the fans reaction to the ugly incident
But Rodriguez had to expect what he heard. This is New York City, a place where domestic disputes and battery charges are a part of the daily police blotter. Except we tend to have a low tolerance when it happens at a place of work, especially at the ballpark from a ballplayer with a $35 million dollar contract.
Hours earlier, K-Rod met the media and gave his apology to the Mets organization, his teammates and the fans. It was a brief statement with no questions Comments about the incident were not addressed due to the legal matters at hand, and Rodriguez said he will be undergoing anger management sessions.
For the Mets, more importantly it is time to go forward. There is no time to dwell on the latest black eye that has hit the organization. Embarrassed and more humiliation for a team that realizes there is more season to play with the slim playoff hopes that remain.
Before and after the game Mets players went about their business. Not many were talking. Those who did, including outfielder Angel Pagan intend to speak personally with their teammate. They all offer their support as K-Rod once again goes about his business out of the pen.
“We don’t pay attention to that,” said Pagan. “We have to go out and do our jobs. We talked to him, some of the guys. I’m sure he will handle things the right way.
Other than that, it was business as usual at Citi Field as the Mets try to survive the “Dog Days Of August” and hope they have something to play for in the month of September. “From what I know of him, I know it is a sincere apology,” said Mets manager Jerry Manuel.
An apology Manuel, GM Omar Minaya and ownership accept for now, but something Mets fans by their actions have not accepted. One that will forever be etched in the unfortunate annals of New York Mets history as the dismal season of 2010 continues.
e-mail Rich Mancuso: [email protected]