Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How Will Frankie Knuckles Feed His Children?

Frankie Knuckles (the closer formerly known as Francisco Rodriguez) settled his grievance with the Mets earlier today. In doing so, the rest of Frankie's contract will remain guaranteed, but the Mets will not have to pay him the $3,142,076 that he would have earned from August 11 (the date of the "alleged" beatdown he laid on his never-to-be father-in-law) until the end of the season.

A remorseful K-Rod once again apologized for the incident and acknowledged that his fisticuffs led to the thumb injury that put him on the disabled list.

Frankie is due to earn $11.5 million next season. The Mets also hold a $17.5 million option for 2012, with a $3.5 million buyout. Of course, that all depends on whether Frankie is wearing a Mets uniform or an orange jumpsuit, although the Daily News is reporting that the two sides in the criminal case against K-Rod are discussing a settlement.

Regardless of what happens in this case, this much is certain. Frankie Knuckles is out $3.1 million for this season. He will also either lose his freedom or be forced to hand over a large chunk of change to the grandfather of his children. That's a lot of green that the man in red sunglasses will have to give up.

Perhaps he should talk to former Knicks All-Star Latrell Sprewell. They seem to have quite a bit in common.

On December 1, 1997, Sprewell was also involved in an at-the-workplace altercation when he choked his coach, P.J. Carlesimo, during a practice session with the Golden State Warriors (his team at the time). The Warriors tried to void the rest of his contract, but an arbitrator disallowed the action. The NBA did suspend Sprewell for the remainder of the season, which amounted to 68 games.

Sprewell was later traded to the Knicks, where he played from 1999-2003. After the Knicks traded him to the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2003, Sprewell went on to help the Timberwolves reach the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history, where they eventually fell to the Lakers.

Of course, when the Timberwolves attempted to give a three-year, $21 million contract extension to Sprewell, he was not at all pleased with the "small amount of money" being offered to him, famously proclaiming to the media that he had a family to feed.

Sprewell's NBA career ended in 2005 when he played his last game for the Timberwolves. Since then, Sprewell has been involved in numerous lawsuits and his homes in Milwaukee and Westchester County have been foreclosed.

For Sprewell, it all started with one act of violence. Then everything spiraled out of control and he now leads a ruined life full of financial trouble.

Frankie Knuckles can still get his life and career back together. Today's statement of regret and promise to turn his life around must be more than just words to get back on the good graces of the media, the Mets and their fans.

If Frankie can't carry out the promise he made today, then he can forget about feeding his children. He'll have a hard enough time figuring out how to feed himself with all the problems that will rain down upon him.

If he can keep his hands on the baseball and not on the faces of family members, then perhaps there is hope for the man we call Frankie Knuckles. Unfortunately, for some athletes, that's easier said than done.

No comments: