Court releases Mets closer Rodriguez
Reliever due back in Queens court Sept. 14
NEW YORK -- A day after he was arrested and charged with third-degree assault for allegedly attacking his father-in-law outside the family lounge at Citi Field, Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez was released without bail at a court in Queens on Thursday afternoon.
An order of protection was issued by the court for Rodriguez's wife and father-in-law, which means the pitcher can not contact either person and is unable to return to his home, where his wife and her father currently reside. He did not enter a plea and is due back for a second court date on Sept. 14.
"I want to say that Mr. Rodriguez and I have complete confidence in our legal system," said Christopher Booth, Rodriguez's lawyer. "We hope to have quick resolution to this conflict that is fair to all parties involved." Rodriguez entered the courtroom for arraignment at approximately 3 p.m. Thursday, and stood before Judge Mary R. Donoghue in a white long-sleeve shirt and jeans.
The prosecution asked for a $5,000 bail and described the incident between Rodriguez and his father-in-law, Carlos Pena. Allegedly, Rodriguez was in the hallway outside of the family lounge with his wife, Diane, when Pena entered the hallway. After a dispute, Rodriguez began punching Pena about the head, pinning him against the wall and "pummeling" him while he was on the ground, according to the prosecution.
According to the New York Daily News, the attack began after Pena told Rodriguez to "man up and play better" when the reliever complained about Wednesday's loss.
"I don't want to say anything because I still don't know what happened," Pena told the New York Daily News a day after the arraignment at Rodriguez's Old Brookville, L.I., home.
The prosecution also raised questions about Rodriguez's history of domestic disputes, citing incidents in Venezuela and California that Rodriguez and his lawyer declined to comment on.
Rodriguez will have until Saturday to return to his home and pick up his personal belongings with a police officer present. Booth said that Rodriguez was very concerned about the possibility of Pena using his personal belongings, such as his car, while he was out of the house.
Booth also asked that the media refrain from asking Rodriguez questions about the incident, as he has been advised not to answer any such questions with the case pending.
The Mets placed Rodriguez on the restricted list for two days without pay and recalled right-handed reliever Ryota Igarashi from Triple-A Buffalo to take his place on the roster.
"Ownership and the organization are very disappointed in Francisco's inappropriate behavior and we take this matter very seriously," Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said in a written statement.
"You're disappointed, no doubt about it. Regardless of how it came about or what happened, for a man to get to that level at anything is not something that you encourage," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "You would hope that conversation or whatever, you would be able to solve it. But you still have to weigh what spurred such an action. That has to be a part of it, despite that it's wrong."
Kyle Maistri is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.