Rodent detectives of Queens, you may now stand down: the search for the Mets's rally rat (or raccoon, depending on your source) can officially end.
That's because there was no animal to begin with at the center of Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil's dugout confrontation on Friday—at least according to Mets general manager Zack Scott.
On Saturday, Scott refuted Lindor and McNeil's post-game comments that their discussion centered around whether or not the supposed animal in the tunnel was a rat or raccoon, according to Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News. Scott called the pair's decision to fabricate a story rather than speak the truth was "probably not ideal."
“They can choose to handle things the way they want...These things, when something is not that big, why make something into more of a story than it needs to be? They’re obviously having fun with it a little bit," Scott said. "But to me, the interpretation of what they were saying was essentially they didn’t really want to comment on it. They wanted to keep it in-house, which I respect.”
Mets manager Luis Rojas took a positive view of the interaction between Lindor and McNeil, saying the team was a "better ball club" because of the duo's confrontation. Scott declined to divulge the actual details of incident, though advocated for transparency and straightforwardness as general guiding principles.
“The best way to handle these things is typically to just be as transparent as you can be without divulging things that people don’t want out there,” Scott said. “As a Northeasterner, I feel like we like straightforwardness. We like feeling like we’re getting honesty even if it’s sometimes things we don’t want to hear. Just be upfront about it and be real about it. I always think that’s the best way to handle it.
“I’m not saying it to criticize what the players decided to do last night necessarily. That wouldn’t be my recommendation and probably no one with the organization would make that recommendation to handle it that way. But that’s what they chose to do for whatever their reasons and it was essentially a no-comment.”
Scott does not believe the situation has reached a point where he needs to address the team, and that the clubhouse has not become a dysfunctional environment. As for why Lindor and McNeil opted for a far-fetched story instead of simply declining to divulge details, Scott refrained from speculating.
“You’d have to ask the players that, why they chose to handle it that way,” Scott said. “It’s definitely, like I said before, not how I’d go. And I think what’s unfortunate is, it’s a little bit bigger of a story than it needs to be and it takes away from one of our best wins of the year.”
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