Here's the story. Now here are my thoughts:
1. This was pretty much what we discussed last night. The Mets are reserving the right to void the rest of K-Rod's deal, but there's not a scintilla of reality in such a desire. If you think about it, the Mets already disciplined K-Rod for his actions, so to cite "conduct" for any additional action constitutes double jeopardy.
No, their only real shot is the more modest goal of recouping the $3 million or so Rodriguez would've gotten paid to pitch from yesterday through the end of the season. In other words, "injury suffered while doing something illicit," rather than merely "doing something illicit." But even that has to be considered less than a 50-50 venture.
Why? Because the Players Association is just that strong. These contracts are ironclad.
2. Whichever trainer K-Rod allegedly told that he suffered the thumb injury in his fight last week - either Ray Ramirez or Mike Herbst - should probably start working with a lawyer now, to prepare his testimony. That figures to be crucial in this case.
3. Here's an interesting nuance of this process: The hearing will take place as soon as September and, at the latest, sometime this fall. So at the moment, the Mets aren't paying K-Rod, but at some point soon, K-Rod will file a motion to get paid again. The idea being, "Pay me my money, and then if the arbitrator rules in your favor, I'll give it back to you."
The Mets can agree to give K-Rod his money for now, or they can insist on holding the money. I'd guess they'll do the latter. If they do that and K-Rod wins the case? He has the option to declare free agency. He won't do that, not with so much more money coming his way, but hey, I learned something today.
4. In their conference call tonight to announce this action, the Mets largely made clear tonight that they'd welcome back K-Rod next year, except for one humorous aside by Jeff Wilpon that maybe someone else would emerge as the closer.
Can K-Rod and the Mets work together again? I say, absolutely. Look, this is all business. Both sides are simply trying to protect their respective interests. K-Rod already stepped back into the Mets' clubhouse after his brawl, if only for two days.
The tension between player and team was considerably worse in the Carlos Beltran case, back in January. That was an absolute train wreck, yet Beltran came back. I'd be very, very surprised if K-Rod has thrown his final pitch in a Mets uniform.
Really, to me, all of the "Law and order" stuff is a bunch of noise. Now that K-Rod has issued his apologies, it's all business from here.
--See you in the morning.