Manager Jerry Manuel said he does not even need to have a conversation with Francisco Rodriguez after the closer allegedly had a heated exchange with bullpen coach Randy Niemann during the latter innings of Sunday’s series finale against the Yankees.
“I guess they had a disagreement,” Manuel said. “By the time it got to me, Randy said there was no issues after that and it was resolved. You’re going to have some issues in the bullpen or in the dugout or whatever. I don’t see that as an issue at this point.”
K-Rod minimized whatever occurred, calling portrayals of the incident false.
“Of course it is,” Rodriguez said. “I never got into it with nobody. I have nothing to say. No comments.”
Manuel said K-Rod has no issues with his usage, such as getting up and then going unused.
“He enjoys pitching,” Manuel said. “He likes to pitch. I haven’t had any issue with him as far as what his role is. His role is to save games and be the last guy down there. That’s what he does.”
STRAW STIR: Next on the anything-but-baseball list, players reportedly objected to Darryl Strawberry’s candid assessment of their performance during a recent address to the Mets.
But right fielder Jeff Francoeur minimized that as well.
“Shoot, my dad has jumped me 75 times harder than that before. I can take criticism and I can use advice,” Francoeur said. “It’s not like he just let us have it. He wanted to let us know that we’re better than we’re playing and that we need to do better. It’s not a big deal. It’s not like he came in (cursing) at the whole clubhouse. He just wanted to kind of let us know we need to pick it up a little bit. And sometimes you need to be reminded of that. I don’t know what got going about it, but I didn’t think it was that big a deal to be honest with you. I thought it was fine. If it was some Joe Blow coming in and saying it, yeah, but Straw has done a lot for the organization. He played here for a long time and had success. I think he was just trying to mind us of, ‘We need to be better than we are.’”
FAMILY MATTERS: Manuel’s son Anthony, who played for the independent Atlantic League’s Newark Bears, was married at a Manhattan courthouse on Monday. The skipper and his wife attended.
SOMETHING BREWING: Jon Niese threw his first bullpen session Tuesday since suffering a hamstring injury and indicated afterward he felt fine. Niese expects to return from the DL when he’s eligible next Tuesday. The Mets need one spot starter before going back to Niese, on Saturday in Milwaukee. Manuel indicated Raul Valdes may be too valuable in a bullpen role to face the Brewers in that game with Hisanori Takahashi already in the rotation.
FIRST THING: Daniel Murphy will stick to first base Tuesday in his first game with Triple-A Buffalo. Murphy also played that position exclusively during a weekend rehab assignment with Class A St. Lucie.
BETTER FOOTING: Luis Castillo returns to second base after twice being scratched during the Yankees series because of a bone bruise below his left foot. Manuel indicated Castillo’s foot will be taped differently. Castillo was examined Monday and avoided the DL.
ALL-STAR SNUB? Will the Mets have any all-stars in Anaheim? Well, they’ll have to have one by rule. But Rod Barajas may be it, at this point. In the first voting totals announced Tuesday, no Met leads in his position. And other than David Wright ranking second to Philadelphia’s Placido Polanco at third base, no Met ranks higher than fifth at his position. Barajas, by the way, doesn’t even rank in the top five National League catchers.