The Grapple in the Apple: Frankie and the Mets

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

For anyone who isn’t keeping tabs on Adam Rubin’s 3 part blog series: ‘Step Right up and Greet the Mess’, I highly recommend taking the time to do so.  Part I really puts into perspective just how much has gone on over this past year and what has become of this once proud franchise.   For the sake of not completely depressing myself again, I won’t bother to recap Rubin’s entire post, which can be read by clicking here.  Among the eye opening time line of embarrassing events that have transpired from the end of last year to where we stand now I did learn of details regarding the altercation with Francisco Rodriguez and his father-in-law that are as sad as they are noteworthy.

To be honest I’m as tired of the story as anyone, but there are certain aspects of it that shouldn’t be overlooked as the team moves forward.  Rubin mentions that:

As for the incident that has been the season’s lowest moment to date, Jose Reyes‘ wife Katherine and two of the shortstop’s young daughters witnessed Rodriguez as he allegedly pummeled the 53-year-old father of the closer’s girlfriend. Beltran’s wife Jessica told her husband she was shaken by watching the event, too.

I had heard before that Carlos Beltran‘s wife had seen ‘The Grapple in the Apple’ take place, but this is the first credible news I saw that stated there were children present.  What an appalling image for a young girl to have to witness and the details of this event, if reported correctly, make me even more embarrassed that this guy was ever subsequently allowed to pitch in a Met uniform.

Sure, the team took a stand, but it was only after the closer revealed that he was injured in the melee.  Only then was he put on the disqualified list, docked pay for the rest of this season and now potentially faces an non-guaranteed contract moving forward.  The decision was not one based on team morals, but rather performance.  The team now has an opportunity to be K-Rid of K-Rod without having to pay him another dime, which is great, but they missed out on an opportunity to make a moral decision that would be a statement as to what type of club they hoped to be moving forward.

For anyone that might be thinking ‘people make mistakes and everyone deserves a second chance’, I would tend to agree under most circumstances.  This just doesn’t happen to be one of them and really would be more of a 3rd or 4th chance for Frankie.  A Wall Street Journal report earlier this month recounted some allegations regarding Rodriguez’s past that were made in state Supreme Court.

…a Queens prosecutor told the court that this was the third allegation of family violence against Mr. Rodriguez.

…prosecutor Kirsten Kane didn’t elaborate other than to say one of the reputed incidents occurred in Venezuela and the other in Los Angeles.  A law-enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation said Mr. Rodriguez’s girlfriend, Daian Pena, told investigators Mr. Rodriguez beat her after an argument when they lived in California and he played for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Ms. Pena, the mother of their twin 1-year-old daughters, didn’t report the incident, and the official didn’t know when it allegedly took place.  Details about the alleged Venezuela incident remain a mystery. Mr. Rodriguez’s attorney didn’t immediately respond to a call seeking comment.”

Allegations are not facts or evidence, but Francisco’s most recent altercation with Angel Pena, the grandfather of his children (click here for our time line of events), does nothing to dissuade fans from finding the monstrous image being painted of the 28-year-old to be anything less than believable.   The monstrous image I speak of is one of a man who, according to the Wall Street Journal piece, was responsible for the actions below:

When Mr. Pena entered the hallway, Mr. Rodriguez is alleged to have pinned him against a wall and punched him repeatedly in the face and chest with both hands, the prosecution said. The victim suffered injuries to his left eye, cheekbone and the back of his head.”

As for the reasons behind his rage, which is a subject that has largely gone without discussion, the story says that:

According to a law-enforcement official with knowledge of the incident, the motive for the alleged attack was that Mr. Rodriguez believed that Mr. Pena had used disparaging language to describe Mr. Rodriguez’s mother.”


There will be enough speculation and court proceedings to occupy the entire off-season, but the constant mention of this incident is not without purpose.  All the details need to come out, all of the story must be told, and the New York Mets need to make sure that if  Francisco Rodriguez was indeed capable of such actions, then whether it be with or without pay, he need not play for this team ever again.  Could you imagine going into a supermarket and seeing a grocery bagger pummeling an older man near the back room, only to find out that it was his girlfriend’s father and though several checkout clerks witnessed it (along with their kids), not only was he not fired but allowed to come to work a couple days later?  It’s a rough time in Queens, for the team and fans alike, which makes every action from this point onward even more important.  As Rubin points out,

For the Mets, though, the circus continues.  And despite an organizational obsession with how the franchise is perceived by the media and public, the big top still ain’t big enough.”

I plan to take a deep look into Rubin’s insightful 3-part series as the posts come about but as always I recommend reading his full column on ESPN New York.




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  • Stephen Keane

    Agree 100 % about the Adam Rubin’ three part series maybe seeing all the shame laid out in front of them the Wilpon’s will have an awakening and purge this organization of incompetent management and put people in charge of the baseball ops with a clear plan.

  • Stephen Keane

    Agree 100 % about the Adam Rubin’ three part series maybe seeing all the shame laid out in front of them the Wilpon’s will have an awakening and purge this organization of incompetent management and put people in charge of the baseball ops with a clear plan.