Luis Rojas told reporters on Saturday that he talked to both Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil about the incident that took place in the tunnel behind the Mets dugout on Friday night, and while nobody will go into specifics of what really happened, he believes it was necessary.
“We do get along here as a family,” Rojas said. “We’re brothers. Everything that happens in a family on a daily basis happens here. There are agreements and disagreements, and at the end of the day, they both make us better. We’re a better ballclub tonight because of whatever happened last night.”
Lindor and McNeil botched what would have been a routine groundout in the seventh inning of Friday’s win over the Diamondbacks, the second time a miscommunication between the two middle infielders resulted in a baserunner. The two headed down into the tunnel as soon as the inning was over, and were soon followed by multiple teammates, who rushed down in response to whatever occurred between Lindor and McNeil.
The two decided to go with a story involving an argument over a rat in the tunnel, or a racoon, or a possum, depending on who you asked, when explaining what happened. The tactic was one that general manager Zack Scott said he wouldn’t have used in response to the incident, but the sentiment around the Mets is that whatever happened, it’s behind them, especially after Lindor came out of the tunnel and blasted a game-tying home run in the bottom half of that same inning before New York won on a walk-off.
“Yesterday just made us better as a family and as a team, and I’m just going to leave it at that,” Rojas said. “I talked to both of them, and learned that whatever happened yesterday, it’s something that happened in the past and it can happen again, and it’s just part of a baseball season and it’s part of a family.”
Ideally, a manager wants his double play duo to get along and be on the same page, and if the dugout incident was the spark to bring Lindor and McNeil closer together after a heated argument, a debate over dugout critters or whatever exactly happened, so be it.
“We’re together today,” Rojas said. “We have another tough game ahead of us…the guys are getting along great. You’re going to see it out there. This is not an act. Guys are going to be playing out there, having fun, and they’re just going to be doing what they do every night.”
Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1