SNY should be commended on the way it handled the Francisco Rodriguez arrest throughout Thursday afternoon’s matinee against the Rockies. Instead of giving it a brief mention early on, or ignoring it entirely, Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Ralph Kiner brought it up several times throughout the game.
First, they talked about exactly what happened, with a report from Kevin Burkhardt who said he witnessed part of the incident. They went into the implications for the Mets on and off field, broke the news that K-Rod was suspended for at least two games, and read a very brief statement from Jeff Wilpon, which said the Mets are taking this seriously. They even showed video later of Rodriguez leaving Citi Field, where he was detained all night, for his arraignment.
Darling went so far as to mention his own arrest, along with several other Mets, for a barroom brawl in Houston in 1986. Kiner told the funny story about how he was locked up when he was 14-years-old for breaking windows while playing baseball. He said the officer read him the classic baseball poem ” Casey at the Bat,” and let him go. Kiner wondered if that officer ever knew that the kid to whom he read that poem would later be in the Hall of Fame.
That humorous tale aside, the broadcasters handled this incident with the seriousness it deserves. And by not shying away from a story that is sensitive and embarrassing to the team, the entire production crew deserves credit. I assume Mets management deserves credit as well — as co-owners of the network, it could have demanded that the subject not be broached. That would have been ridiculous, but the Mets have not handled such incidents well in the past, so it would not have been out of the realm of possibility. Fortunately the Mets did the right thing this time.