Francisco Rodriguez charged with third degree assault

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Francisco Rodriguez was released from jail today after being charged with third degree assault and second-degree harassment. He was ordered to stay away from his his girlfriend’s father,* his girlfriend and his children until a subsequent hearing can be held in family court.

We’ve all been having a little bit of fun with the whole “look at those crazy Mets” thing today, but the details from K-Rod’s arraignment should remind us all that this is really no laughing matter:

The 28-year-old closer went into the family lounge, hauled his [girlfriend’s father] into an adjoining tunnel and “repeatedly hit him in the
face and hit his head against a wall” before taking off, NYPD spokesman
Paul Browne said.

The prosecutor said today that there was “a history of violence” in K-Rod’s relationship, and that further investigation is being made into incidents in both California and Venezuela.

I’ve learned over the course of my legal career that you don’t take everything police spokesman and prosecutors say in such instances at 100% face value because, even if the broad strokes of the incident aren’t in doubt, the details of the events and the characterization of them often vary widely between accuser and accused. Maybe last night’s incident was harrowing and severe. Maybe it was less than your average slap fight among teenagers. We can’t say at this point in time because we weren’t there and the evidence hasn’t been presented or even disclosed.

But if the characterization of the police and prosecutors is accurate, Francisco Rodriguez has far more problems facing him than a couple of days away from his team and some bad press.

*Note: initial reports last night and those throughout the day today
identified Rodriguez’s alleged victim as his father-in-law.  Rodriguez
is not married, however, and the alleged victim is the father of his
girlfriend.

Spring training will be slightly shortened in 2018

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 15:  General view of action between the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants during the spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium on March 15, 2014 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The A's defeated the Giants 8-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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The Associated Press is reporting that the spring training schedule will be shortened by two days starting in 2018. That change comes as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, which was agreed to last month.

Specifically, the voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and injured players has been changed to 43 days before the start of the regular season, down from 45. For the rest of the players, the reporting date is 38 days before the start of the regular season, down from 40.

The change goes hand-in-hand with allowing teams 187 days, rather than 183, to complete their 162-game regular season schedule.

While just about everyone seems to be in agreement that the spring training exhibition schedule is too long, team owners are likely very hesitant to shorten that part of the spring schedule because it would cost them money. So they’re just allowing players to arrive to camp a couple of days later.

Report: Rays trade Logan Forsythe to the Dodgers for prospect Jose De Leon

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 4: Logan Forsythe #11 of the Tampa Bay Rays waits in the dugout to get on deck to bat during the third inning of a game against the Kansas City Royals on August 4, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Update (7:05 PM EST): The Rays and Dodgers have both announced the trade.

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Update (6:57 PM EST): That was fast. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports the two sides have agreed to the trade. Forsythe for De Leon. An announcement is expected shortly.

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Dodgers and Rays are “deep into discussions” on a trade involving second baseman Logan Forsythe. Passan adds that the two sides have discussed pitcher Jose De Leon — the Dodgers’ top pitching prospect — as part of the return for Forsythe, but it’s unclear if he’s in the deal currently being discussed.

Forsythe, 30, hit a productive .264/.333/.444 with 20 home runs and 52 RBI in 567 plate appearances in 2016. He was even better the year before, finishing with an .804 OPS. Forsythe can fill the Dodgers’ obvious need at second base, but he also has experience playing third base, first base, shortstop, and corner outfield.

Forsythe is entering the second year of his two-year, $10.25 million contract extension with the Rays. He’ll earn $5.75 million in 2017 and his controlling team has an $8.5 million club option with a $1 million buyout for the 2018 season.