Just Sayin’: Criticize Bruce Bochy all you want but the man comes up big again

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy paces the dugout during a loss to the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver on May 17, 2011. UPI/Gary C. Caskey

Kleenex sales went through the roof the week that the 2011 MLB All-Star Game rosters were announced. That’s because from coast to coast, everyone from media pundits to MLB managers were crying about some of Bruce Bochy’s choices for the NL squad. Two skippers in particular, the Marlins’ Jack McKeon and the Pirates’ Clint Hurdle, were publicly vocal about Bochy’s perceived favoritism to some of his own players.

I wonder what McKeon and Hurdle have to say now after the National League downed their AL counterparts 5-1 on Tuesday night. Granted, the victory was largely thanks to Prince Fielder’s three-run dinger, some solid pitching performances by the NL staff, as well as the unavailability of some of the AL’s best pitchers. But just like in the 2010 postseason, Bochy managed yet another perfect game. He was aggressive on the base paths (particularly in the fifth inning when Angels reliever Jordan Walden took the hill), he made all the right moves with his pitching staff and he played the matchups incredibly well. He also didn’t even use Tim Lincecum or Ryan Volgelsong (two pitchers in which Bochy was accused of showing favoritism), and wouldn’t have used closer Brian Wilson in the ninth had Starlin Castro and Joel Harahan not allowed two runners to reach base.

If the Marlins or Pirates somehow manage to make the World Series this year, they’ll be the host team thanks in part to Bochy. Any chance that McKeon or Hurdle pick up the phone in that instance and show their appreciation for Bochy’s hard work over the last week with the NL All-Star team?

More Quick-Hits for Wednesday:

– James Harrison shared, uh, some interesting takes on Roger Goodell in the August issue of Men’s Journal. James used the words, “crook,” “devil,” “stupid,” “puppet,” and “dictator,” while describing Goodell, then threw in an anti-gay slur for good measure. “If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn’t do it,” Harrison told the magazine. “I hate him and will never respect him.” Tell us how you really feel Eminem James.

– I wish FOX had mic’d the head groundskeeper for Tuesday night’s All-Star Game because I would have loved to have heard what he said after watching Padres closer Heath Bell tear a big divot out of the infield when he slid into the mound. “Thanks a**hole, you know someone has to repair that right? Couldn’t have ran onto the field like a normal human being, huh?”

– Don’t expect the Mets to trade Carlos Beltran as fast as they did K-Rod. Not with Jose Reyes, David Wright and Ike Davis all injured. And I don’t think Beltran is a sure-bet to land in ‘Frisco either. If I’m Scott Boras, I’m telling my client to choose an American League team to waive his no-trade clause for, so that he can show his stuff as a DH for next year.

– Apparently Mike Shanahan is set on John Beck as his starter in 2011. That makes sense considering that when he benched Donovan McNabb last year, he immediately inserted Beck as the starter to get him ready for this season. Wait…what?

– I can’t wait for the NFL lockout to end so I can see how quickly teams sign free agents. Because I refuse to believe that these teams haven’t somehow been in contact with these players throughout the last couple of months. I know league rules prohibit teams from trying to contact players, but come on – this is the NFL. You know these teams have been sneaking around for months now. It’ll be interesting to see how much time elapses from when the lockout officially ends until when a team signs that first new free agent. If it’s more than 12 hours, I’ll be shocked.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

“Your parents are manipulating you like a marionette.”

New York Mets pitcher Francisco Rodriguez is escorted by police for his arraignment on assault charges at Queens Criminal Court in New York August 12, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL CRIME LAW IMAGES OF THE DAY)

When you’ve been served with a restraining order that prohibits you from making contact with the girlfriend whose father you allegedly assaulted, it’s probably not a good idea to violate it by sending her 56 unanswered text messages in the weeks following the incident.

Or tell her that she’s playing the puppet in her parents’ marionette show, for that matter.

But such is the life of Mets’ closer Francisco Rodriguez, who allegedly assaulted his girlfriend’s father in the club’s family lounge in mid-August, and who is now being charged with criminal contempt on top of his previous charges of third-degree assault and harassment.

According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, K-Rod sent 56 text messages to his girlfriend in recent weeks, which violated a restraining order that he received following his attack on her father. Below are some of the text messages that he sent her.

“I know this message will get me in trouble, but I’ve already lost my kids… . Let’s find a solution to this conflict.”

“Your parents are manipulating you like a marionette.”

“I understand perhaps I made a mistake, the biggest mistake of my life. But I love you.”

Perhaps you made a mistake? I say that when I put too much seasoning on my barbecue chicken. If I had just beaten up my girlfriend’s father inside my team’s facilities, I would be texting: “See you when I get out of jail – hugs and kisses to the kids.”

Furthermore, I probably wouldn’t tell her that her parents are manipulating her – especially after I had just got done shoving her dad around. I wasn’t there, so maybe Rodriguez was justified in doing what he did. But I don’t think there’s any reason to proceed with domestic violence in any situation unless you’re defending yourself, which it doesn’t sound like K-Rod was.

Dude needs some help.

MLB News: Mets will try to void Francisco Rodriguez’s contract

New York Mets pitcher Francisco Rodriguez is escorted by police for his arraignment on a third-degree assault charge at Queens Criminal Court in New York August 12, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL CRIME LAW)

After punching his girlfriend’s father in the family room of the team’s clubhouse last week, Mets’ closer Francisco Rodriguez will need surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb.

He could be a little lighter in the wallet soon, too.

According to SI.com’s Jon Heyman, the Mets are looking into voiding K-Rod’s contract on the grounds that he injured himself outside of the course of play. Seeing as how he’s set to make $11.5 million in 2011 and $17.5 million in 2012 (which also includes a $3.5 million buyout), voiding the closer’s contract would create a ton of financial relief for New York.

But voiding his contract won’t be an easy task for the Mets, who first need to get past the player’s union. The move could also hurt them in future deals with free agents who don’t want to play for a team that goes after players’ money (even if said player was being an idiot).

Another option the Mets have is going after K-Rod’s remaining 2010 salary. They obviously won’t get as much financial relief in that scenario, but every little bit helps.

Either way, they have a daunting task ahead of them and Rodriguez has certainly put them in an incredible bind. While it’s too early to suggest that the Mets will rid themselves of him entirely, don’t count out an outright release.

Christmas at the Rodriguez house is going to be a little awkward this year

July 11, 2010 - Flushing, New York, United States of America - 11 July 2010:  New York Mets pitcher Francisco Rodriguez.

According to a report by the New York Post, Mets’ closer Francisco Rodriguez was arrested at Citi Field on Wednesday after he went nutso on his father-in-law.

The blowup occurred just minutes after the Mets’ bullpen cost the team another game in the eighth inning in a game against the Rockies. Manager Jerry Manuel decided not to use K-Rod for a four-out save, instead using Manny Acosta, who promptly gave up a two-out granny to Colorado’s Melvin Mora.

Rodriguez, nicknamed K-Rod for his many strikeouts, allegedly clashed with the 53-year-old man at around 10:15 p.m. amid other players’ families after the Mets blew a lead to the Colorado Rockies and lost, 6-2.

The 28-year-old record-holder for most saves in a single-season was arrested and charged with assault.

“Mind your own f—king business!” the irate pitcher spewed at reporters asking about the incident.

His father-in-law, whose name was withheld, was taken to Flushing Hospital with facial bruises and a head bump.

Cops wouldn’t say whether Rodriguez is accused of slugging or shoving his wife’s father.

Let’s not jump to conclusions here – fights happen for a variety of reasons. One would think that there’s nothing that could get a son-in-law so mad that he would punch or shove his father-in-law, but maybe K-Rod’s father-in-law made fun of the goofy goggles that K-Rod wears. Who knows?

The main story here is how big of a mess the Mets are once again. Johan Santana is being accused of impregnating a woman after assaulting her on a golf course and now K-Rod is beating up family members in the clubhouse. This team went into the All-Star break feeling pretty good about life and now they’re a filthy disaster again.

Ah, the Mets.

Update: Check that, ESPN.com is now reporting that the beaten man was K-Rod’s girlfriend’s father and not his father-in-law. Either way, that’s not the best way to impress your girl.

2010 MLB Preview: NL East

In order to help get you ready for the MLB season, we’re doing division-by-division rankings with quick overviews on how each club could fair in 2010. Next to each team, you’ll also find a corresponding number written in parenthesis, which indicates where we believe that club falls in a league-wide power ranking. Be sure to check back throughout the next two weeks leading up to the season, as we will be updating our content daily. Enjoy.

All 2010 MLB Preview Content | AL East Preview | AL Central Preview | AL West Preview | NL East | NL Central | NL West

Next up is the NL East.

1. Philadelphia Phillies (2)
Much like the Yankees in the American League, it’s hard to find bad things to say about the Phillies. They’re the three-time defending NL East champions and considering they’re ready to bring back the same core of players that got them to the World Series the past two years, there’s no reason to doubt them. Oh, and they added Roy Halladay. Roy, I’m going to dominate your face for nine innings, Halladay. If Cole Hamels rebounds and J.A. Happ’s 2009 wasn’t a fluke, the Phillies won’t suffer a setback this season. In fact, the pitching doesn’t even have to be that great with the likes of Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez taking up the first six spots in the order. The problem, however, is that Hamels might not bounce back and Happ’s ’09 season may have been a fluke. There’s also that nagging Brad Lidge closer issue that could haunt this club as well. That said, odds are that the Fighting Phils will be right back at the top of the NL East again this season. They’re too good, too talented and too experienced to fold and they have a great chance to reclaim their title back from the Yankees.

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