The Mets won their third straight on Friday, though the victory was overshadowed by an apparently animal-focused confrontation between Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil.
In the lore of famous rodents, Pizza Rat might reign supreme. But now, a new contender has emerged—ladies and gentlemen, meet the Mets Rat.
The precise label of the animal in question is actually subject to debate, at least among the Mets’ middle infield combo. The backstory on how shortstop Francisco Lindor and second baseman Jeff McNeil got to supposedly discussing the differences between a rat and raccoon requires some explaining.
The story goes like this: during Friday night’s 5-4 win against the Diamondbacks, Lindor and McNeil appeared to get into a heated exchange in the dugout tunnel following the top of the seventh inning, with other Mets players rushing over to intervene.
It was unclear what the confrontation was about, but it apparently had some sort of rally-starting impact on the team. In the bottom of the seventh, Lindor hit a game-tying, two-run homer to even the score 4-4. It was his second straight game hitting safely after snapping an 0-for-26 slump on Thursday.
The Mets went on to win on a walk-off, pinch-hit fielder’s choice by Patrick Mazeika, who drove in his first big-league run before recording his first hit.
Despite Mazeika’s heroics, reporters predictably wanted to know more about the Lindor-McNeil dugout conversation. Lindor’s answer veered into an unexpected lane:
New York City rats are certainly not to be trifled with, but it would have to be a pretty sizable rat to be confused with a raccoon. Manager Luis Rojas professed to know nothing about any rat or raccoon situation, per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, leaving an air of mystery around the whole situation.
Was the entity in the Mets dugout a rodent, mammal or imaginary? The outside world may never know.
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