K-Rod apologizes to teammates, fans and Mets brass

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Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez finally addressed his third-degree assault and second-degree harassment charges on Saturday at Citi Field.  He made a one-minute statement and did not take questions.  Here’s the transcript of that statement, via ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin:

“First of all, I’m extremely sorry,” Rodriguez said. “I want to
apologize to [owners] Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon and Mr. [Saul] Katz for
the incident that happened Wednesday night. I want to apologize also to
the Mets fans, to my teammates. I want to apologize, of course, to the
front office for the embarrassing moment that I caused. I’m looking
forward to being a better person.

“Right now the plan is I’m going
to be going to [an] anger management program. And I cannot be speak no
farther about the legal stuff that we’re going through right now. I want
to apologize. Sorry.”

Was it enough?  Probably not.  But there’s no easy way to make up for his hideous and violent actions.  The anger management counseling should at least help him internally.

If you’re into the gossipy side of this story, the New York Post is reporting (with pictures!) that K-Rod has moved out of the Long Island home that he shared with his girlfriend.  It’s safe to say that relationship just took a major hit.

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

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Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.