For Acts of Violence, MLB Much Too Soft
So Francisco Rodriguez is accused of assaulting the 53-year-old father of his girlfriend by the team's "family lounge" at Citi Field, banging the man's skull against a wall, hitting him in the face, putting him in the hospital with scrapes and swelling -- yet was back in uniform Friday night with the New York Mets after just two days on the restricted list.
In the world of Bud Selig and the union he allows to rule his domain -- the Major League Baseball Players Association -- this somehow qualifies as tough justice. How typically pathetic and sad, huh? Never mind that the volatile K-Rod, as Rodriguez is known in his $37-million position as a high-energy relief pitcher, was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on charges of third-degree assault and second-degree harassment. Never mind that MLB's very own cop shop was moved to describe Cueto's behavior as "violent and aggressive," part of a wicked fracas between the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals that goes down as one of the sport's wilder brawls in recent times. The commissioner's office continues to slap wrists and pedal softly, issuing the kind of mushy, disproportionate penalties that remind us why Selig's nickname is Bud Light.
And why the popularity and image of a fading, increasingly irrelevant sport are threatened.