Francisco Rodriguez had "manhood challenged" and "mother insulted" before attack

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According to the New York Daily News “the one-sided fight” between Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez and Carlos Pena, the 53-year-old father of his girlfriend, began Wednesday night “when Pena challenged Rodriguez’s manhood and insulted his mother after the crazed closer began shouting about the latest Mets loss.”

Based on police reports and various sources, here’s how the newspaper describes the scene that took place in the Citi Field family lounge:

“Stop acting like a baby,” one source quoted Pena as telling the volatile Rodriguez inside a Citi Field lounge designated for players’ families. “Man up, and play better.” K-Rod’s mother told Pena to keep his mouth shut, prompting a screaming match in Spanish between the pair, the source said. “You can’t talk to my mami that way!” Rodriguez shouted before landing the first of many punches in the Wednesday night mismatch.

The 6-feet, 195-pound hard-throwing righty pinned the defenseless Pena against a wall outside the Mets’ clubhouse while raining blows on his head and face, prosecutors said. Stadium security, after hearing the 53-year-old’s howls, yanked the four-time All-Star away, officials said. The beating occurred in full view of Peña’s common-law wife, along with the children and girlfriends of other players.

Jose Reyes’ wife and children were reportedly in the room for all of that, but the shortstop said merely “it is what it is” when asked about the situation yesterday and for the most part Rodriguez’s teammates have been supportive. However, the incident has opened the floodgates on stories about Rodriguez’s previous bad behavior, which most media members in New York have apparently been keeping under wraps until now.

Mariners claim Kaleb Cowart off waivers from Angels

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The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.

Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field.  He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.

Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.