Hope the Mets took out a good insurance policy on their RP (relief pugilist), Francisco Rodriguez. With the news that's just coming over the wire, it appears that K-Rod has punched the clock for the final time in 2010.
According to numerous sources, including Ken Belson of the New York Times, Frankie Rodriguez has a torn ligament in his right thumb (his pitching hand). The injury occurred last Wednesday during his observance of "Take Out Your Father-In-Law At Work Day".
The injury will knock him out for the rest of the season if K-Rod chooses to have surgery, as has been recommended by the team's medical staff.
There is an interesting side note to this bit of news. K-Rod has an option for $17.5 million for the 2012 season that will vest if he finishes 100 games between the 2010 and 2011 seasons. If Rodriguez does not pitch anymore this season, he will have ended his campaign with 46 games finished. That will leave him 54 games short of the number needed to trigger the vesting option for 2012.
Since this incident will probably stain him for the rest of his career, it behooves Frankie to get the surgery done so he can make the required appearances to collect his hefty payday. However, will the Mets want him around long enough for the option to kick in?
Perhaps the Mets will release him. Then again, if they haven't released Oliver Perez, who has sucked more than Jenna Jameson has, what chance do they have of releasing Frankie? A better option would be to attempt to trade him. Despite his off-the-field problems and his obvious anger management problem, K-Rod can still pitch effectively and is still young (28 years old). Is there any team that would be willing to take him, his salary and his fists of fury?
I have a suggestion that would work out for everybody involved. Why not trade him to the Texas Rangers? Since Nolan Ryan is part of the ownership team, perhaps he could teach him how to pitch more effectively. Ryan has already suggested that the team should scrap pitch counts for their pitchers and Mets fans know that Frankie has occasionally let his pitch count soar as high as his blood pressure.
The Mets can get some quality players in return and at the very worst, Ryan can teach Rodriguez the proper way to fight. After all, who better to teach how to punch someone without getting hurt in the process?
The 2010 season is spiraling out of control for the Mets, but at least they have a chance do something about it on the field. The same cannot be said for Francisco Rodriguez. He doesn't even have a fighter's chance to salvage his season and his reputation.