Francisco Rodriguez was arraigned on the text-message/protection order violation yesterday. During the hearing the district attorney painted a dark picture of the Mets closer:
Hothead fireballer K-Rod once beat his girlfriend so badly she had to be hospitalized, a Queens prosecutor said Wednesday.
The chilling assault was revealed in court as Assistant District Attorney Scott Kessler painted Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez as a manipulative bully who flouts the law.
“He’s not naive and loving,” Kessler told Queens Justice Ira Margulis. “He’s merely manipulating and controlling.”
The alleged assault that led to his girlfriend’s hospitalization took place in Venezuela, prosecutors say. K-Rod’s attorney denied it. The Mets say no records of it came up when they did a background check before signing him.
I have no idea what the truth is here. Based on both experience and stuff I’ve read, there’s reason to doubt the rigor and/or veracity of Met background checks, Venezuelan court records and the kinds of statements made by prosecutors during criminal arraignments.* All three have been known to understate or overstate the truth of the matter.
But however this breaks, it’s ugly and sad and, oh how I wish this was merely a case about a knucklehead relief pitcher getting into a comical slap fight with an old guy who insulted his mama. It’s much more than that now.
*To be clear: I have no basis at hand to doubt what the prosecutor said in this particular instance. In the past, however, I have had clients called the most heinous things by prosecutors during preliminary hearings, where it is the prosecutor’s job to cast the accused in the worst light the known evidence will allow in an effort to get a high bail and stringent pretrial conditions placed on the defendant.