Remember the Mets’ rat versus raccoon debate, nearly six months and at least six turbulent incidents ago that helped encapsulate another frustrating season?
A refresher: back in May, a ground ball snuck up the middle in between Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil, who weren’t far removed from another miscommunication in the infield. The double play duo then promptly disappeared down the steps of the Mets dugout, where loud noises were heard and teammates hurried down the steps to intervene.
After order was restored in the New York dugout, the Mets rallied to win the game over the lowly Diamondbacks, and after the game, Lindor offered an interesting explanation for what the tussle was about, saying he and McNeil saw a rodent and were debating whether it was a rat or a raccoon.
Talking with Zach Gelb on Thursday, Mets reliever Trevor May insists he still has no idea what the commotion was about.
“It wasn’t a rat, a raccoon, or a punch,” May said. “I don’t know if it was anything. You gotta remember, bullpen. Me, in the jail that is the New York bullpen…I can’t even see the field, man. I can only see three of the nine players on the field, so how could I see anything?”
Reporters, who didn’t have clubhouse access due to the COVID-19 pandemic, didn’t have a way of getting to the bottom of it either, and the narrative remained. Then there was the thumbs down saga, where Javier Baez stuck a thumbs down to the Mets crowd as a way of “booing back” at the fans that had expressed frustration with the team’s second half slide. After apologizing, Baez downplayed the controversy and focused on moving on, which May did as well.
“Those two situations are some of the silliest things I’ve ever had to talk about,” May said. “Simply from being in the moment and being there and seeing it…it’s just not a huge controversy. I don’t know how else to say it.
“Both of those situations were a case of trying to take something, owning it and making it yours as opposed to making something negative. Everybody does those things, I just think that we talk about it a lot. We’ve talked about it as a group. It’s just extra things to be accountable for. It’s ours and it’s not going to affect us or our play on the field.”
New York’s season concluded with a coaching staff overhaul, including manager Luis Rojas, but the season was filled with wild twists and turns, from apparent rodent arguments to retaliating gestures to the fans and a DUI arrest for the general manager. As for the first two instances, May and the Mets still carry the same sentiment towards them as they did when they were peppered with questions during the madness.
“We have to find ways to make light of situations, and that translates to us playing loosing and give us a better chance to win,” May said. “I’m all for it…but that’s as far as it needs to go and as much as we need to talk about it, at least by us.”
Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1