K-Rod, Manuel downplay argument

Updated: May 26, 2010, 8:59 AM ET
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com

New York Mets manager Jerry Manuel said he does not even need to have a conversation with Francisco Rodriguez after the closer had an argument with bullpen coach Randy Niemann during the latter innings of Sunday's series finale against the New York Yankees.

The New York Times reported that K-Rod had to be separated from Niemann by other relievers after he got into a heated argument with Niemann over his usage on Sunday night.

"I guess they had a disagreement," Manuel said. "By the time it got to me, Randy said there was no issues after that and it was resolved. You're going to have some issues in the bullpen or in the dugout or whatever. I don't see that as an issue at this point."

K-Rod minimized whatever occurred, calling portrayals of the incident false.

"Of course it is," Rodriguez said. "I never got into it with nobody. I have nothing to say. No comments."

Rodriguez entered the Subway Series finale with one out in the ninth inning. He allowed two inherited runners to score before striking out Alex Rodriguez to end the game. It was his eighth save of the season.

Manuel said Rodriguez has no issues with his usage, such as getting up and then going unused.

"He enjoys pitching," Manuel said. "He likes to pitch. I haven't had any issue with him as far as what his role is. His role is to save games and be the last guy down there. That's what he does."

Last week, John Maine and Manuel had a heated exchange in the dugout after Maine was pulled after five pitches in Washington.

And K-Rod and then-Mets vice president of player development Tony Bernazard had a verbal altercation upon boarding a team bus in Atlanta last season, weeks before Bernazard was fired.

Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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