Francisco Rodriguez wants chance to redeem himself with Mets

K-Rod longs for a return to Queens. (Getty Images)

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Former Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez -- the man we call "K-Rod" -- is a member of Team Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, which squared off against the Mets Wednesday in an exhibition game. And from the sounds of it, the still-unsigned free agent K-Rod longs for a return to the Mets' dugout.

"I would love to [return to the Mets]," said Rodriguez, via "They've got a great coaching staff over there. To come back and redeem myself would be great, because I've got to be realistic and honest. You would have to be real blind to not see that I fell when I was there. That's not even a question. To be able to get one more shot and get it done would be great."

K-Rod signed a three year, $37 million contract with the Mets before the 2009 season. His on-field performance fell short of the expectations that come with a contract like that for a closer, but there were also off-field issues, like when he was arrested at Citi Field after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend's father.

The Mets could use late-inning relief help. They currently have the likes of Frank Francisco, Bobby Parnell, LaTroy Hawkins, Scott Atchison and Brandon Lyon as options for the back end of the bullpen.

Rodriguez, 31, had a 4.38 ERA and 1.33 WHIP with 72 strikeouts in 72 innings last season with the Brewers, primarily as a setup man. In about 2 1/2 seasons for the Mets (2009 through the 2011 All-Star break), K-Rod collected 83 saves in 98 chances with a 3.05 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 186 strikeouts in 168 innings.

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