There are some great sports stories all over the news today: LeBron James made his un-triumphant return to Cleveland last night, the Jets and Patriots are getting set for a pivotal Monday Night Football game, and Yankees GM Brian Cashman and his frosted tips are rapelling down buildings like a rich man's Spiderman. So what better time to ignore all that, and talk about K-Rod and the Mets!

Mets closer Fransisco Rodriguez pleaded guilty today to attempted assault and disorderly conduct stemming from his summertime assault on his girlfriend's father. He will be required to attend a 52-session anger-management course, and pay $14,000 in medical bills, as part of his plea bargain, but the pitcher will avoid jail time completely. Not that K-Rod got off scot-free: the Mets withheld $3.1 million in salary from him for the fracas, he suffered a torn ligament in his right thumb which ended his season, he's generally been persona non grata in Mets world since the incident, and he probably injured his other thumb while texting his girlfriend 56 times to apologize for the fight.

The Mets were busy with their own financial maneuverings yesterday, cutting loose some old mainstays, while offering arbitration to others. The Mets declined to offer salary arbitration to pitchers John Maine and Sean Green, and utility player Chris Carter, essentially cutting ties with all three. Maine has been a starter with the Mets since 2006, but had a poor 2010 that was cut short by injury. They did offer arbitration to pitchers R.A. Dickey and Mike Pelfrey, and outfielder Angel Pagan, three of their best players last season.