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Mets closer Rodriguez charged with assault

- Associated Press - Thursday, August 12, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) - Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez was to appear in court Thursday, a day after he was charged with assaulting his father-in-law at a Citi Field family lounge following a game.

Rodriguez was arrested and held at the ballpark and charged with third-degree assault after Wednesday night's game, police said. His father-in-law was in a hospital with a scraped face and bump on his head.

Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz said Rodriguez was questioned by police.

"All other questions pertaining to this matter can be addressed to police," he said.

General manager Omar Minaya, at the owners' quarterly meetings in Minneapolis, declined to comment.

"It just happened last night and we're working to gather more information," he said.

Several security guards, along some women and children, were seen around the Mets' family lounge near the clubhouse after New York's 6-2 loss to Colorado. Rodriguez's father-in-law had swelling above his right eyebrow.

"His wife and daughter were in the family room when it happened," teammate Jose Reyes said before a Thursday afternoon game with the Rockies. "I don't know exactly what happened. You don't want to see that happen, especially here at the ballpark. I hope he comes clean about what happened because we need him here."

Rodriguez has had previous confrontations with a team official, a coach and an opponent in his 1 1/2 seasons with the Mets, though none reached this level.

The excitable, 28-year-old pitcher signed a three-year, $37 million contract with the Mets after saving a record 62 games with the Angels in 2008. He is 4-2 with 25 saves and a 2.24 ERA this season.

Rodriguez did not pitch in the Mets' latest loss, which dropped them below .500. Reliever Manny Acosta gave up a two-out grand slam to Melvin Mora in the eighth inning.

In May, Rodriguez and bullpen coach Randy Niemann got into a heated exchange while the pitcher was preparing to enter a game. Mets manager Jerry Manuel later said the matter was resolved, without divulging what caused the dispute.

In July 2009, Rodriguez and former Mets official Tony Bernazard argued aboard the team bus. Bernazard was later fired by the Mets amid several allegations.

That June, Rodriguez and New York Yankees reliever Brian Bruney needed to be separated before a game. They had jawed at each other in the media a day earlier.

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AP Sports Writers Ronald Blum in New York and Jon Krawczynski in Minneapolis contributed to this report.

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