Rodriguez on restricted list; Mets vow support
Teammates react after learning of closer's arrest
NEW YORK -- Shortly after Carlos Beltran's wife, Jessica, witnessed the altercation Wednesday evening between Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez and his father-in-law, she spoke briefly with her husband on the phone.
"She sounded nervous," Beltran said.
It was only after the couple spoke in person that Beltran's wife relayed to him the details of the incident.
"No one should act like that," Beltran said. "That's why as players, every step you take forward, you have to know what you're doing. I think he feels sorry. He feels sorry about what happened, but it's too late."
Many Mets had similar stories and similar reactions on Thursday, one day after Rodriguez was arrested and charged with third-degree assault for allegedly attacking his father-in-law outside the family lounge at Citi Field. The Mets' closer was released without bail at a Queens court on Thursday afternoon.
Several of Rodriguez's teammates had wives and children in the family room at the time of the incident, including outfielder Jeff Francoeur and shortstop Jose Reyes, whose wife and young daughter were present.
"They told me about it when we were on the way to our house," Reyes said. "He was arrested, I guess. He's my teammate. He's our closer, so I don't want to see that kind of stuff happen. But I don't know what the problem was with his family. I can't talk about it too much."
Other Mets did not know about the incident until they began filtering into the ballpark around 8 a.m. Thursday. Catcher Josh Thole's eyes widened when he first heard the news. Starting pitcher Johan Santana, a countryman of Rodriguez, called him "a part of what we are." Outfielder Angel Pagan reacted with shock.
"My family wasn't there, thank God," Pagan said. "I found out when I got here. I didn't know about that. But I hope he solves the problem as soon as he can, because we need him right here. I know it's a tough situation for him, and we've got to be there for him."
Shortly after the start of Thursday's game against the Rockies, the Mets placed Rodriguez on the restricted list for two days without pay. At Thursday's arraignment, the court issued an order of protection for Rodriguez's wife and father-in-law, which means the pitcher can not contact either person and is unable to return to his home, where his wife and her father currently reside. He did not enter a plea and is due back for a second court date on Sept. 14.
Mets COO Jeff Wilpon issued a brief written statement, calling Rodriguez's behavior "inappropriate," but did not answer questions regarding the matter.
Manager Jerry Manuel was equally cautious, acknowledging after Thursday's game that he was still not aware of all the details of the allegations.
"You're disappointed, no doubt about it," Manuel said. "Regardless of how it came about or what happened, for a man to get to that level at anything is not something that you encourage."
Third baseman David Wright, whose words carry uncommon influence in the clubhouse, spoke only supportively of Rodriguez.
"He's a teammate, so we're going to support him," Wright said. "Frankie's been a great teammate for us, and we're going to have his back.
"He's part of the family here. You've got to realize that no one wants it to happen, but it happened, and now it's a matter of making it right. If there's anything that we can do in here for Frankie, I'm sure everybody's willing to do it."
Though Beltran agreed with those sentiments, he was also far more critical of his teammate.
"You don't want anything like this to happen at the ballpark," Beltran said. "Everyone has family issues. We all have family issues. But those family issues should be addressed at the house -- not at the ballpark, nor at the place where you work. But it's something that happened, and it's unfortunate."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.