New York Mets pitcher Francisco Rodriguez, arrested for assaulting his girlfriend’s father at Citi Field last August and later charged with contempt for violating an order of protection against the girlfriend, pleaded guilty today in Queens Criminal Court in New York.
Rodriguez was ordered to enroll in a 52-session anger management program, reimburse the woman’s father $14,445 for medical expenses and pay a $1,000 fine.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement that the key to resolving the case was that Rodriguez “take responsibility for his actions, acknowledge that he has an anger management problem and that he address the issue -- for his own sake and that of his family.”
Brown said if the relief pitcher fails to complete any of the conditions of his sentence, he could be re-sentenced and have to serve up to 120 days in jail.
Brown said Rodriguez, 28, confronted Carlos Pena in a hallway outside the team’s family lounge and hit him in the face several times. Pena was taken to a Queens hospital and treated for cuts and bruises, according to the district attorney’s statement.
The pitcher tore a ligament in the thumb of his pitching hand during the altercation and required season-ending surgery.
Rodriguez later sent the man’s daughter, Daian Pena, the mother of his twins, 56 text messages to apologize for the incident after the judge told him not to contact her.
Rodriguez entered a plea of guilty to third-degree assault in the assault case and a plea of guilty to two counts of disorderly conduct in the contempt case.
In addition to the anger management program, Queens Criminal Court Judge Mary R. O’Donoghue issued a two-year order of protection, requiring Rodriguez stay away from the father and daughter, subject to custodial and support issues relating to the couple’s children.
Rodriguez, who signed with the Mets in 2008 and is expected to return to the team next season, was 4-2 with 25 saves and a 2.25 ERA last season.
The district attorney said Rodriguez will attend the first 14 sessions of his anger management counseling in Venezuela, where he is playing winter baseball. The next 14 sessions will be in Port St. Lucie, Florida, when he reports to spring training. The final 24 sessions will be in Queens when he reports for the regular season.
To contact the reporter on this story: Curtis Eichelberger in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at email@example.com