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K-Rod busted for swinging at in-law: DA

The bad news keeps coming for star Mets pitcher Francisco Rodriguez — known to fans as K-Rod — as the fallout from his infamous alleged assault of his father-in-law at Citi Field last week continues.

The record-setting closer learned he had pitched his last game of the season on Saturday after doctors discovered Sunday he sustained a torn thumb ligament during the incident. He will be benched until 2011, the team announced before Monday’s game against the Astros in Houston.

“An MRI revealed the tear and Mets medical staff has recommended surgery to repair it,” the Mets said in a statement. “The date of the surgery is yet to be determined.”

Rodriguez apologized Saturday to his teammates, his fans and team leaders, but failed to mention his family in a minute-long statement at Citi Field on charges that he assaulted his father-in law last week.

Hours earlier, Rodriguez had a van full of his belongings picked up from his Long Island home, the New York Post reported. A Queens judge barred him from returning there after he was charged with assault.

“I’m extremely sorry. I want to apologize to [Mets owners] Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon and [team president] Mr. [Saul] Katz for the incident that happened Wednesday night,” he said before Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. “I want to apologize also to the Mets fans, to my teammates. I want to apologize, of course, to the front office for the embarrassing moment that I caused. I’m looking forward to being a better person. Right now the plan is I’m going to be going to [an] anger management program. And I cannot speak no farther about the legal stuff that we’re going through right now.”

A Queens judge ruled that Rodriguez may not see or contact his children, his common-law wife or her father, whom he is charged with assaulting Aug. 11 in a hallway outside the family room at Citi Field after a Mets loss.

Rodriguez — whose nickname reflects his skill in recording strike-outs, or “K’s” — was arraigned on charges of third-degree assault and second-degree harassment Aug. 12 in a courtroom at Queens Criminal Court packed to the gills with reporters, who chased him out to a black SUV waiting to whisk him away after he was released on his own recognizance.

Judge Mary O’Donaghue issued orders of protection barring him from seeing the alleged victim, Carlos Peña, and his common-law wife, Carlos Peña’s daughter Daian Peña. He was suspended for two games by the Mets organization and visitation rights for his year-old twins will be hashed out in family court.

Rodriguez is accused of beating Carlos Peña, 53, after the Mets lost a game to the Colorado Rockies inside the new Queens stadium. Carlos Peña was taken in a stretcher to Flushing Hospital with a frontal lobe hematoma, contusions and abrasions, according to Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kane.

“Once Mr. Peña came out into the hallway, the defendant started punching him about the head, jumped on him and started pummeling him,” she said in court. “It wasn’t until security guards heard the screaming that they were able to pull him off.”

Carlos and Daian Peña both met with Queens District Attorney Richard Brown on Aug. 13, and Carlos Peña said he was defending his daughter from an expletive-filled tirade by Rodriguez after the Aug. 11 game when he was attacked by Rodriguez, the New York Post reported.

“You can’t talk to my daughter that way!” Carlos yelled, according to the Post.

Rodriguez, who is known for his hot temper on and off the field, has been in trouble before, according to Kane. She said an order of protection had been filed against him in Venezuela years ago, and another was filed in California a number of years later. Rodriguez used to play for the Los Angeles Angels.

“There seems to be a history of violence,” she said. “They are very fearful of him returning home.”

Rodriguez’s lawyer, Christopher Booth, mentioned more than once that both Peñas live in his home and that Carlos Peña drives his cars without his permission.

“Mr, Rodriguez, like everybody else, has family issues, and the stress that comes with being a professional athlete,” Booth said in front of the courthouse following the hearing. “He is committed to putting this conflict behind him and helping the Mets end this season hopefully on a positive note.”

Rodriguez was scheduled to return to court Sept. 14.

Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.

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