Results tagged ‘ Francisco Rodriguez ’
The World Baseball Classic announced its plan Wednesday morning to expand from 16 to 28 teams in 2013 through use of a qualifying round. The expansion will give more players an opportunity to play in the tournament, though fewer big leaguers may actually qualify for to the round of 16 — and it’s not yet clear exactly when in the fall of 2012 the preliminary games will be played. Among the teams that now have to qualify for the tournament are Canada and Panama, which could affect Mets players Jason Bay and Ruben Tejada if they choose to participate in the event.
Here’s a list of participating countries and those Major League Mets who participated in the 2009 event:
1. Dominican Republic (Jose Reyes)
2. Mexico (Scott Hairston)
3. Puerto Rico (Carlos Beltran)
4. United States (David Wright)
5. Venezuela (Francisco Rodriguez)
Qualifying Round Invitees
1. Canada (Jason Bay)
2. Panama (Ruben Tejada)
*Note: Angel Pagan (Puerto Rico) and Johan Santana (Venezuela) did not participate due to injuries.
—-Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.
An MLB.com colleague recently asked me to rank the five NL East teams on offense, defense, starting rotation and bullpen heading into the season. Some of the choices were clear-cut: Phillies with the best rotation, for example (duh). Others, not so much.
When I submitted my NL East ballot, I had the Mets ranked highly in two categories: defense (in which I ranked them first), and bullpen. In my opinion, the Braves have the best relief corps in the division, despite the loss of Billy Wagner. After that, I grappled over whether to choose New York or Washington, in the end selecting the Mets because they possess a proven closer and the Nationals — right now, at least — do not.
After I sent in my picks, my colleague and I argued over that choice for quite some time. He pointed to the Marlins, who also revamped their bullpen this winter and look stronger than they did a year ago (in short, he accused me of drinking the blue-and-orange Kool-Aid). I pointed to the fact that the Mets ranked fifth in the league in bullpen ERA last year and arguably only got stronger this offseason, adding important arms such as D.J. Carrasco and Taylor Buchholz. Do I have concerns about the bullpen? Of course — most notably, I don’t trust Tim Byrdak to be the lockdown lefty specialist that Pedro Feliciano was in years past. But I feel strongly enough about the group as a whole to rank them ahead of the Nationals, Marlins and Phillies (in that order).
The point is, I felt somewhat vindicated today when I read this story on Fangraphs discussing the relative merits of New York’s bullpen. Does that mean the Mets will be great at closing out games this year? Maybe, maybe not — injuries and year-to-year variance always play a significant role in that. But consider that the Mets just left Jason Isringhausen and Manny Acosta – two very useful relievers — off their Opening Day roster. That, if anything, speaks to the strength of this new-look bullpen.
The Mets have problems heading into the season — that much is clear. I just don’t think the bullpen (or the defense, for that matter) is one of them.
—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.
Francisco Rodriguez settled his grievance with the Mets today, announcing that he will not fight the team’s decision to withhold roughly $3.1 million of his 2010 salary. In exchange, the Mets will no longer seek to convert the remainder of his contract into an non-guaranteed deal. Here are the statements from both sides:
Rodriguez: “As I have expressed in the past, I deeply
regret the incident that occurred on August 11, 2010. I sincerely
apologize to Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz, Mets’ fans, my teammates,
and the entire Mets’ organization. I have worked hard since the incident
to make myself a better person and member of this organization.
I have been participating in an anger management program since August,
and I will continue in the program for the foreseeable future. I
feel that anger management counseling is undoubtedly making me a better
person and a better father, and will make me a better teammate and member
of this great organization.
“I am responsible for my injury that occurred
as a result of this incident, and prevented me from finishing the season
with the Mets. As a result, I have instructed the Major League Baseball
Players Association not to pursue the issue raised in the grievance regarding
payment of my salary during the time that I was injured. Personally,
in this situation, I do not feel that it is right for me to take a salary
for the period of time in which I could not contribute as a player as a
result of my off-field actions. In addition, I am directing each
of my $100,000 annual charitable contributions to New York metropolitan
area charities that further the purposes of the New York Mets Foundation.
“I appreciate the faith and support that
this organization has shown me throughout this matter. I look forward
to being a part of the 2011 Mets and hopefully beyond. I want to
put these issues behind me, and behind this organization and its fans.
I have instructed my attorneys to work toward amicably resolving
the other legal matters resulting from this incident. I want my focus
to be on my family, my team and being the best closer in baseball in 2011.”
Jeff Wilpon: “We are pleased that Frankie Rodriguez has accepted responsibility for his actions and their consequences. We have been assured that he is taking steps to address the issues that led to the incident, and that those efforts will continue. We have also been assured that he will work hard both on and off the field to regain the trust of the organization, Mets fans and the community.”
—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.
Several Mets were watching Thursday’s Mexico-France World Cup soccer match when the Mexicans subbed midfielder Francisco Rodriguez into the game.
“Hey, we’ve got one of those,” quipped a bemused Jeff Francoeur.
So, too, do the Angels. Again.
Giving Anaheim’s bullpen a recent jolt has been 27-year-old Francisco Rodriguez, a Mexican reliever who previously wallowed in the team’s farm system for four seasons. Only in April did Rodriguez make his Major League debut, and only late last month was he able to stick in the bigs.
But since then, the other Rodriguez has been close to perfect, striking out 15 batters, walking one and allowing just one run in 10 1/3 innings.
“There are a bunch of us,” the Mets’ Francisco Rodriguez said when informed of the Angels pitcher. “That’s good for him.”
The younger Rodriguez recently related to the Los Angeles Times a meeting he had with K-Rod several years ago, when both were in big league camp with the Angels. But when asked Friday, K-Rod had no recollection of meeting his reflection.
—–Follow along on Twitter @anthonydicomo.
Francisco Rodriguez and bullpen coach Randy Niemann had to be separated after an altercation Sunday stemming from the closer’s bullpen use, according to a report in the New York Times.
Rodriguez, reportedly upset over how he is being used, had to be separated from Niemann by other relievers, according to the report. Afterward, he told the Times that they “were just fooling around … just kidding each other.”
The altercation came three days after Mets manager Jerry Manuel had a heated exchange with starter John Maine in the dugout in Washington, and less than a year after Rodriguez and former Mets official Tony Bernazard got into a verbal altercation on a bus in Atlanta.