K-Rod, The Ticking Time BombS

Now that Francisco Rodriguez is history's greatest monster, we wondered if we should have seen it coming.

Rodriguez is no stranger to controversy. Getting into it with an opponent. Getting into it with a team exec. Getting into it with his bullpen coach.

But the quotes in the wakes of those incidents, from K-Rod, his teammates and coaches, exhibit a startling level of denial. It reminded us of nothing so much as an abusive relationship. So we've helpfully chosen a few quotes, and sorted them.

He's just a passionate guy

"If he feels strongly enough about something he'll voice his opinion. Sometimes that's a fault, sometimes it's not a fault."
-Brian Schneider

"Any closer in this league is pitching in a high-intensity situation. Frankie is pretty cool going through it, but there's certainly a release that takes place when you close out games. It's nothing against the other players. He's not showing up anyone. It's a pure release of emotion." -Mike Scioscia

"That's my way. People can say I'm arrogant, a jerk, anything they want to say. But me, I'm going to live my world. I don't care what people think or say." -Francisco Rodriguez

He only hits me because he loves me

"It was cool. Frankie walked right up to him and got right in his face. And the kid didn't say a thing." -Ryan Church

"You want a guy like that on your side." -Torii Hunter

"At least Frankie went to the guy. I think it's better that way than to go from A to C and then to B. Through the papers, you don't really respect that." -Alex Cora

I, um, walked into a door

"There was a misunderstanding. We talked about it and it's over. Sometimes there are misunderstandings. You talk it through and that's the end of it." -Randy Niemann

"We were just fooling around. We were just kidding with each other." -Francisco Rodriguez

"Over 162 games, you are going to have those things, but nothing major. They had a verbal discussion." -Jerry Manuel

"There was an argument. Nothing that doesn't happen on most clubs." -Unnamed Mets official

He said if I told anyone it would get worse

"I never got into it with nobody. I have nothing to say. No comments." -Francisco Rodriguez

"We don't talk about it. We respect personal matters. That's a code." -Francisco Rodriguez

"I don't know what they told you. I don't know what you're talking about. I have no comment. I don't know what you're talking about." -Francisco Rodriguez

"I have nothing to say. I'm not going to get into it. No comments." -Francisco Rodriguez

(thanks to Jim for the photo)