K-Rod? More like KO-Rod. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
The NYPD paid a visit to the Mets' clubhouse to arrest Francisco Rodriguez for third-degree assault on this date in 2010. According to post game reports, the easily angered closer was upset that manager Jerry Manuel left him to languish in the bullpen while eighth inning guys Hisanori Takahashi and Manny Acosta combined to turn a 2-1 lead over the Rockies into a 6-2 loss. In a classic case of transference, K-Rod lashed out verbally at reporters and physically at his girlfriend's father. Adding injury to insults, Rodriguez tore ligaments in his pitching hand during the altercation, knocking him out of action for the remainder of the season. He later pleaded guilty to the charges, but avoided jail by agreeing to undergo 52 weeks of anger management classes.
- John Mitchell (1986-1989) is 47. Mitchell came to the Mets as part of the 1985 trade that netted the team Bobby Ojeda. Two years prior, when he was still a Red Sox farmhand, Mitchell was involved in a fishing boat accident ten miles off the Florida coast and only survived by clinging to a bait bucket for 22 hours. After that ordeal, pitching in the crucible that is the New York market must have seemed pretty easy.
- Al Pedrique (1987) is 52. Signed out of Venezuela in 1978, Pedrique logged nine years in the Mets minor league system before finally making his debut with the parent team. Five games later, he was traded to the Pirates for Bill Almon.
After the jump, posthumous birthday wishes for a front office figure...
Former GM Bob Scheffing would had been 99 years old today. He's probably best known as the man who pulled the trigger on the Jim Fregosi for Nolan Ryan deal, but that's not fair. Sending Ken Singleton, Tim Foli, and Mike Jorgensen to the Expos for Rusty Staub was a pretty lopsided exchange, too. Nothing against Rusty, who helped the Mets make it to the World Series in 1973, but that year Singleton put up an OPS of .904 backed by an MLB best .425 on-base percentage. All told, Staub and Singleton were remarkably similar players, at least according to fWAR (see graph). Scheffing just made the mistake of trading the one about to reach his peak for the one who was leaving his.
Game of Note
Gary Carter ended 1987 with 291 career home runs. A red hot start to 1988 brought him to 299 just 35 games into the new season. By mid-May, it seemed like number 300 would come any day. It didn't. As the weather warmed up, the Kid cooled off considerably. Mired in a horrific, summer-long slump, Carter went a career worst 63 games without putting a ball in the seats. The drought finally came to an end on August 11 versus the Cubs. Facing Al Nipper, the man he took deep for one of his two home runs in Game Four of the 1986 World Series, Carter put good enough wood on a fat pitch to deposit it into the Wrigley Field bleachers. The solo shot gave Carter the distinction of joining of Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra, and Carlton Fisk as the only catchers (at the time) to reach the 300 home run plateau. It also gave the Mets a 1-0 lead in a game they would go on to win 9-6.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
August 11 is Independence Day for the African country of Chad. There's only been one person named Chad to play for the Mets: Chad Bradford in 2006. Bradford's full first name is Chadwick, so it seems unlikely that the submariner is named for the sub-Saharan nation. If he were, this paragraph would have appeared in the Amazin'-ly Germane Connection section.