Mets closer Rodriguez suspended for 2 days by team

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NEW YORK (AP) - Francisco Rodriguez was suspended for two days by the Mets on Thursday, a day after police said the star pitcher grabbed his father-in-law from a Citi Field family lounge, struck him in the face and banged his head against the wall.

Rodriguez was arrested and charged with third-degree assault after Wednesday night’s game. The team put him on the restricted list and removed him from the active roster.

The Mets said he will not be with the team during that time. If the ban is not reversed, Rodriguez would lose $125,683 of his $11.5 million salary.

“Ownership and the organization are very disappointed in Francisco’s inappropriate behavior and we take this matter very seriously,” Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said.

The 28-year-old closer went into the family lounge, hauled his father-in-law into an adjoining tunnel and “repeatedly hit him in the face and hit his head against a wall” before taking off, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.

A Mets official called police while a clubhouse employee was instructed to call Rodriguez on his cell phone. Rodriguez came back about 15 minutes later and was taken into custody. Browne described Rodriguez as cooperative with officers when he returned.

Rodriguez was arrested and held at the ballpark after the 6-2 loss to Colorado.

His father-in-law _ identified by authorities as 53-year-old Carlos Pena _ was in a hospital with a scraped face and bump on his head. Pena had swelling above his right eyebrow.

An hour prior to Thursday’s 4-0 win over Colorado, no court action had been taken. Before the suspension was announced, Rodriguez’s lawyer, Jay Reisinger, declined comment in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel, speaking before the suspension, had said he wouldn’t hesitate to use Rodriguez during Thursday’s game if the pitcher was available. Mets starter Johan Santana pitched a complete game to beat the Rockies.

General manager Omar Minaya, at the owners’ quarterly meetings in Minneapolis, had declined to comment before the suspension was put in place.

Right-hander Ryota Igarashi was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo to fill Rodriguez’s roster spot and the Mets expected him to arrive during Thursday’s game.

Manuel said Rodriguez’s actions were not a distraction to his team, which began the day fourth in the NL East at 56-57.

“We’ve had a lot of things go on here and there,” he said. “We are men and things come our way and we still have a job to do. We have to perform, which right now we’re not doing very well at, but we still have to put forth our best effort.”

Several security guards, along with some women and children, were seen around the Mets’ family lounge. The room is near the clubhouse and ordinarily a convivial spot where players meet their relatives after games.

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