Leave it to smiling, chucklin', swingin' Jeff Francoeur to try to find some good in the Francisco Rodriguez situation. "Maybe it's a distraction we need," Francoeur told the Post. "Not to say it's a good thing, but maybe at the end of the day, we can turn it into a positive." It's nice that Frenchy is trying, but every other part of this story, in the 36 hours since it happened, has only turned more sour.
First off, the charges: K-Rod has been officially charged with third-degree assault and second-degree harassment, and there's a restraining order that requires him to stay away from both his girlfriend and his girlfriend's father, whom he is accused of attacking. (The woman is not Rodriguez's wife, as had been previously reported.) The Mets have suspended K-Rod for two games, which means he'll be back tomorrow against the Phillies.
The details of the fight aren't pretty. The Post had the scoop this morning on how K-Rod cursed out his girlfriend (who is also the mother of his children) and then pounced on the dad when he tried to step in.
[K-Rod] pummeled her father after he came to her defense, banging the older man's head against a wall in a stadium hallway outside a room filled with players' wives and children, officials said yesterday. "You can't talk to my daughter that way!" the dad, Carlos Peña, told the hotheaded baseball star, according to one source, as K-Rod berated the woman after Wednesday night's game at Citi Field.
In response, Rodriguez "repeatedly hit him in the face and hit his head against a wall," said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.
Yeah, so go Mets, right? In addition, several families of other Mets were witness to the confrontation, including that of Jose Reyes; the shortstop is said to be furious at K-Rod. ("It is what it is" was his quote about the incident, a series of words that will never stop meaning absolutely nothing.) Other Mets, including Carlos Beltran, have expressed their anger at K-Rod; "No one should act like that," Beltran told ESPN. "It doesn't matter if the team did whatever it did. No one should act like that. He feels sorry about what happened, but it's too late."
It looks like the prosecutor is going to push this pretty hard, considering K-Rod's history. The Mets will be paying K-Rod $11.5 million next year, with a $3.25 million buyout for 2012. But maybe at the end of the day, they can turn this into a positive, right, Frenchy?