For those of you Mets fans who are also movie buffs, do you remember that scene near the end of the classic movie Gone With the Wind, when Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) and Scarlett O’Hara (Vivian Leigh) say their final words to each other? She asks him about what she will do without him, and Gable utters that famous line, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
Well, flash forward to the drama that has unfolded with Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez and his going all Joe Frazier on his poor girlfriend’s father. K-Rod should have known better, probably did know better, but was seeing red and cursing his way to a brawl as he entered the Mets players family lounge. In front of other players’ wives, children, and family members, K-Rod punched out an older man and, in the process, damaged his pitching hand.
We learned on Monday that K-Rod will be out the rest of the season because of the injury sustained during his tantrum. I was listening to talk radio here in New York yesterday, and some Mets fans were lamenting another lost season – as if K-Rod’s departure is the only reason why the team is floundering – but most were happy to see him go. I count myself among them.
When the Mets signed K-Rod, there were rumors about his volatile personality. I discounted that as the usual stuff when a new guy comes to town, but as soon as he started closing for the Mets, I was less than impressed. He made Armando Benitez seem like Mariano Rivera with the way he pitched, The game was almost always tediously on the brink of being lost with him on the mound. Despite his impressive save totals coming from the Angels, we didn’t see him as invincible, and in fact, he seemed rather susceptible to being beaten all the time.
Now, it seems the Mets will have a pastiche closer mechanism, judging from what Jerry Manuel had to say on SNY after Monday’s game. It could be Hisanori Takahashi one night, Oliver Perez the next night, and so on. Hey, why not throw Luis Castillo in there and see what the heck he can do? The closer-by-committee version just might end up doing as good a job as K-Rod, but that’s not saying much.
It is apparent that K-Rod now becomes K-Dud; he is gone and will not likely pitch for the Mets ever again. The team will try to void his contract based on his injury being caused during a non-game fight. The Players Association will probably take his side, but in the end we have to hope he goes someplace else and becomes a problem for another team.
The Mets and their fans know the truth and understand it has to be this way. Wouldn’t it be nice that if K-Rod asked you, “Where will I pitch again?” you would be able to answer, “Frankly, K-Dud, I don’t give a damn”? Well, the Mets are going to say just that, and then he can take his anger management classes in another city and drive their fans crazy with his antics. “Gone with the wind” never sounded so good!