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

27 Comments

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.

Diamondbacks, T.J. McFarland avoid arbitration

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
2 Comments

Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Diamondbacks and reliever T.J. McFarland have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. McFarland, in his third of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $1.675 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $1.275 million. McFarland ended up settling for just under the midpoint of those two figures.

McFarland, 29, was terrific out of the bullpen for the D-Backs last season, finishing with a 2.00 ERA and a 42/22 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. While the lefty may not miss a lot of bats, he does induce quite a few grounders. His 67.9 percent ground ball rate last season was the third highest among relievers with at least 50 innings, trailing only Brad Ziegler (71.1%) and Scott Alexander (70.6%).

McFarland was dominant against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .388 OPS last season, but the D-Backs deployed him nearly twice as often against right-handed hitters, who posted an aggregate .764 OPS against him. It will be interesting to see if the club decides to use him more as a platoon reliever in 2019.