K-Rod, Manuel downplay closer’s spat with coach

The Mets acknowledged Tuesday that closer Francisco Rodriguez

and bullpen coach Randy Niemann had an argument during a game last

weekend, but New York manager Jerry Manuel said the matter was


Manuel confirmed Tuesday that Rodriguez and Niemann got into a

spat Sunday night while K-Rod was preparing to enter a game against

the New York Yankees. It’s unclear what the dispute was about.

“I guess they had a disagreement and by the time it got to me

Randy said there was no issues after that and it was resolved,”

Manuel said before his team opened a three-game series against

Philadelphia. “I mean, you’re going to have some issues in the

bullpen or in the dugout, whatever. But I don’t see that as an

issue at this point.”

The New York Times reported that Rodriguez and Niemann had a

heated exchange in the bullpen during the ninth inning and had to

be separated by other pitchers.

Rodriguez said the report was false, but refused to comment any

further. Niemann told reporters the disagreement never got physical

and the matter was over.

“When it got to me it was resolved, so I’ll leave it at that,”

Manuel said.

K-Rod struck out Alex Rodriguez with runners at the corners to

save the Mets’ 6-4 victory Sunday night.