NEW YORK -- Closer Francisco Rodriguez will return to the New York Mets on Saturday, after being suspended for two games by the organization for allegedly striking his girlfriend's father in the face near the family room at Citi Field.
Rodriguez will undergo anger-management counseling with the help of the players' union, which will assist him in finding a therapist, according to The New York Times. Rodriguez could be further penalized if he doesn't comply with the course of treatment, the newspaper reported.
The Mets also requested Rodriguez be subjected to evaluations by doctors from Major League Baseball and the union, the Times report said.
Rodriguez, who was arraigned Thursday at Queens Criminal Court on third-degree assault and second-degree harassment charges, spoke with general manager Omar Minaya after his release from police custody that afternoon.
"It's not acceptable," Minaya said Friday, before the Mets opened a series against the Philadelphia Phillies. "He understands that. He admits that. He feels really bad, of course. He put not only himself, he put his teammates and the organization in a bad light."
Minaya suggested the two-game suspension without pay "was the right amount of time."
Minaya added: "Of course, any time you do these [punitive] things, you also have to have conversations with the [Major League Baseball] Players Association."
Multiple officials familiar with the process suggested that had the Mets tried to banish Rodriguez for more than two games as a result of the misdemeanor charge, they likely would have faced a grievance and found themselves before an arbitrator.
There is no specific language in the uniform player contract or collective bargaining agreement that sets maximum suspension penalties for the type of conduct for which Rodriguez was arrested. The closest stipulation is that team discipline must be supported by "just cause."
Mets officials said they expect Rodriguez to address the media at his locker before Saturday night's game against the Phillies, although they still need to address that topic with Rodriguez.
Despite Rodriguez's behavior occurring in full view of other players' families, manager Jerry Manuel said he did not think it was necessary for Rodriguez to address the team unless the closer felt compelled to do so.
"His group, that bullpen group, he might," said Manuel, who sent a text message to Rodriguez that the manager said went unreturned. "If he feels it's necessary, I have no problem with it."
Asked if he was angered by Rodriguez's behavior, Minaya instead described himself as "disappointed."
Minaya said he did not place strict conditions on Rodriguez in their telephone discussion.
"There's no ultimatum," Minaya said. "'It's more of a conversation, a discussion and both in agreement that this is not acceptable."
Rodriguez is in the second season of a guaranteed three-year, $37 million deal. If he finishes 55 games next season and is healthy, his contract will vest for 2012 at $17.5 million.
"Do I regret bringing him? No, I do not, because whenever you bring players, you also understand players sometimes are going to make mistakes," Minaya said. "Look, he's one of 25 players. And players are going to make mistakes. That's how I feel."
Rodriguez had been involved in several confrontations in his two seasons as a Met. Last year, he had verbal altercations with then-Yankee reliever Brian Bruney during batting practice in the Bronx and with then-Mets executive Tony Bernazard on a team bus in Atlanta. This year, he clashed with Mets bullpen coach Randy Niemann during a game.
"You have a long season," Minaya said. "Guys are going to have arguments and stuff like that. At no point in time was there anything that was ever a physical attack. You've got to understand, when you go through a long season, you are going to have verbal disagreements. But at no point in time has he ever had a physical attack like what happened yesterday."
Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin was used in this report.