As tends to happen when someone’s bad behavior is made public–just think back to all the Tiger Woods stuff for the most recent prominent example in sports–stories about Francisco Rodriguez being a bad guy are coming out of the woodwork now.
Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record passes along this gem about Rodriguez and Mariano Rivera:
Rodriguez’s reputation was damaged even before joining the Mets. On the eve of the 2008 All-Star Game at the Stadium, Mariano Rivera ordered clubhouse attendants to keep K-Rod’s locker as far away as possible. The Yankee closer, a deeply religious man, decided he couldn’t stand even one night of K-Rod’s excesses.
Klapisch goes on to chide the Mets for not reigning in Rodriguez earlier, suggesting that their lack of control over the closer “in part, is why Rodriguez went off on a family member on Wednesday, because somewhere in his consciousness he knew he could get away with it.”
That seems like one hell of a leap in logic to me, although certainly making the Mets responsible for his beating up a 53-year-old man is a great way to sell newspapers and given how dysfunctional the whole team has been few people are going to stick up for them no matter the claims.
Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.
While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.
Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.
Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.
SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.
Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.
Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.
At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.
In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.