Baseball notes: Mets' closer Francisco Rodriguez benched on assault charge
Francisco Rodriguez was suspended for two days by the New York Mets on Thursday, a day after police said the star pitcher grabbed his father-in-law from a Citi Field family lounge, struck him in the face and banged his head against the wall.
Rodriguez was arrested and charged with third-degree assault after Wednesday night's game. The team put him on the restricted list and removed him from the active roster. The Mets said he will not be with the team during that time. If the ban is not reversed, Rodriguez would lose $125,683 of his $11.5 million salary.
"Ownership and the organization are very disappointed in Francisco's inappropriate behavior, and we take this matter very seriously," said Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon.
The 28-year-old closer went into the family lounge, hauled his father-in-law into an adjoining tunnel and "repeatedly hit him in the face and hit his head against a wall" before taking off, said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.
A Mets official called police while a clubhouse employee was instructed to call Rodriguez on his cell phone. Rodriguez came back about 15 minutes later and was taken into custody. Browne described Rodriguez as cooperative with officers when he returned.
Rodriguez was arrested and held at the ballpark after the 6-2 loss to Colorado.
His father-in-law — identified by authorities as 53-year-old Carlos Pena — was hospitalized with a scraped face and a bump on his head. He also had swelling above his right eyebrow.
RANGERS' SALE OFFICIAL: Major League Baseball owners unanimously approved the sale of the Texas Rangers to an investment group led by Nolan Ryan and Mark Greenberg on Thursday, marking the end of a months-long struggle to take control of the club. Ryan and Greenberg won with a bid valued at $590 million.
CHIPPER JONES OUT FOR SEASON: Chipper Jones may have played his last game in the major leagues after tearing up his left knee while fielding a ground ball Tuesday night. Jones' agent, BB Abbott, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the Atlanta Braves' third baseman will need surgery for a damaged ACL and is likely done for the season, a major setback for the first-place Atlanta Braves. The 38-year-old Jones was hurt in Tuesday night's game at Houston. He had an MRI exam and met Thursday with the team doctor, Marvin Royster, who delivered the bad news.
"Dr. Royster told him there was definitely instability in the knee," Abbott said. "The ACL looked to be stretched. There's definitely damage done to the ACL. He more than likely will need surgery that would end the season."
Jones was meeting Thursday with his agent and team officials. While it's likely he'll seek a second opinion, Abbott indicated that it's unlikely the news will be any more promising
SUSPENSIONS HANDED OUT: Cincinnati Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto has been suspended for seven games for his actions during a brawl with the St. Louis Cardinals. Managers Tony La Russa of St. Louis and Dusty Baker of Cincinnati were each suspended for two games.
Major League Baseball said Thursday that Cueto, La Russa and Baker also were fined undisclosed amounts.
Four other players were fined but not suspended — Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter and catcher Yadier Molina, and Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips and relief pitcher Russ Springer.
A fight broke out in the first inning of Tuesday's game in Cincinnati. The Cardinals won the game and swept a three-game series to move into first place in the NL Central.
It wasn't immediately clear if appeals were planned.
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