Francisco Rodriguez’s girlfriend was granted an order of protection after K-Rod and her father fought at Citi Field. The thing about orders of protection: they’re designed to keep the subject of the order (K-Rod) from contacting the person in whose favor the order was granted (girlfriend; father-in-law). K-Rod, it seems wasn’t clear on that:
closer Francisco Rodriguez faces more charges after contacting his
girlfriend who was under an order of protection, prosecutors said this
K-Rod sent Daian Pena 56 text messages even though he
was not supposed to contact her, Assistant Queens District Attorney
Scott Kessler said in a court hearing.
I’m just trying to imagine the conversation between K-Rod and his lawyer right after he became aware of the additional charges.
Lawyer: Jesus, Frankie! What were you thinking?
K-Rod: Texting isn’t contact, right? I couldn’t even see her because the camera on my iPhone sucks.
Lawyer: No, this is bad. You shouldn’t have contacted her. I gotta think of a way to fix this. OK, you were depressed that night, right? Moment of weakness?
K-Rod: Yeah, totally. Every time.
Lawyer: Every time?! How many times did you text her?
Lawyer: [Bangs head on desk]
K-Rod: You OK?
Lawyer: Yeah, fine. OK. These texts. You were just telling her that you love her and that you’re sorry, right?
Lawyer: Maybe I can work with that . . .
K-Rod: Apart from that one where I talked smack about her parents manipulating her and stuff, implicitly hoping that she’d reject their side of the story and come back to me prior to the legal proceedings in which her testimony could conceivably lead to my conviction, sure. [note: paraphrased]
Lawyer: [Bangs head on desk. Reaches for flask. Realizes flask is empty. Bangs head on desk again. Thinks again about the choice not to go to dentistry school]
The Rays were busy over the weekend, trading starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, designating All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment, and then picking up C.J. Cron in a deal with the Angels. The Rays saved about $4 million — Odorizzi’s $6.3 million less Cron’s $2.3 million salary — and picked up a prospect. They’re still on the hook for Dickerson’s $5.95 million salary until they can find a trade partner, which seems likely.
Those are some head-scratching moves if you’re a Rays fan or a member of the Rays. Dickerson hit .282/.325/.490 with 27 home runs, 62 RBI, and 84 runs scored in 629 plate appearances last season, part of which resulted in his first trip to the All-Star Game. Designating him for assignment is strictly a financial move, assuming he can be traded. The Rays are currently operating with a payroll below $70 million. This comes just a week and a half after Rays ownership proposed the public footing most of the bill for the club’s new stadium. And the Rays had traded third baseman Evan Longoria — then the face of the franchise — to the Giants earlier this offseason.
Longoria expressed sympathy for Rays fans for having to put up with this. Via Andrew Baggarly, Longoria said of the curious Dickerson move, “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base. … I’m not going to take too many shots but it’s pretty obvious that guy is a valuable player and didn’t deserve to be DFAd. Corey was our best player last year.”
Longoria isn’t quite on the money there. By WAR, Dickerson ranked fifth among position players on the team, according to Baseball Reference. FanGraphs is also in agreement. Still, it’s indisputable that Dickerson, who turns 29 years old this May, more than pulled his weight. The Rays do not have a surfeit of starting outfielders, so it wasn’t like they were making room for other capable players. Mallex Smith, who put up a .684 OPS in 282 PA last year, is slated to start in left field at the moment. Designating Dickerson for assignment, as well as trading Longoria and Odorizzi, were simply cost-cutting decisions.
The Rays’ M.O. has been part of the problem leading to the current stagnant free agent market (sans Eric Hosmer‘s eight-year deal on Saturday). Teams like the Rays, Phillies, Reds, and Tigers have been explicitly putting out non-competitive teams in order to facilitate a rebuilding process. Longoria is right to express sympathy for Rays fans, who see their favorite team worsening a roster that went 80-82 last year. The Rays haven’t finished at .500 or above since 2013 and doesn’t figure to halt the streak this year.