SI:AM | The Mets Have Hit Their Annual Rock Bottom

Things are getting grim in Queens.
Lopez tossed his glove into the stands Wednesday.
Lopez tossed his glove into the stands Wednesday. / via SNY

Good morning, I’m Dan Gartland. I feel really sorry for all the Mets fans in my life.

In today’s SI:AM:

😔 A very bad day for the Mets
The Padres’ bullpen star
🏈 The SEC’s most interesting year

They’ve lost 25 of their last 35 games

The New York Mets are baseball’s biggest punching bag. They’re always playing second fiddle to the team on the other side of the Triborough Bridge. They haven’t won a World Series in nearly 40 years. For many years they faced payroll constraints because their owners had lost a fortune in the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. They even had an opposing manager get food poisoning from eating at the Shake Shack inside their stadium. The list goes on—and it grew longer on Wednesday.

Fans had hoped the “lolMets” reputation would die when the team was sold by the Wilpon family to billionaire Steve Cohen, now the richest owner in MLB. And after a 101-win season in 2022 (Cohen’s second in charge), it looked like it might have. But then they sputtered to a massively disappointing 75–87 finish last season while having a payroll $80 million higher than any other team—and things haven’t gotten any better this year.

After starting 12–8, the Mets have been in total freefall. Wednesday afternoon’s loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers dropped them to 22–33 on the season. They’re 10–25 since April 20—the worst record in the majors over that span.

And Wednesday’s loss wasn’t just any loss. It was an enervating, excruciating, embarrassing defeat.

The trouble started in the top of the eighth inning. Adam Ottavino came in to pitch with the score tied 3–3 and promptly gave up a leadoff home run to Will Smith. Ottovino allowed a triple, a walk and then an RBI single to Miguel Rojas, at which point he was pulled in favor of Jorge López. López allowed a two-run double to the first batter he faced, got one out and then gave up a two-run homer to Shohei Ohtani that gave the Dodgers a 9–3 lead.

López was understandably upset and his frustration soon boiled over. During the next at-bat, López said something to third base umpire Ramon De Jesus and was ejected. To make matters worse, López threw his glove into the stands as he left the field.

What puts this story in the pantheon of Mets misfortune, though, is the interview López gave after the game.

There is some debate over exactly what López said. A viral clip from SNY, the team’s TV network, transcribed the quote as “I think I’ve been on the worst team in probably the whole f--king MLB.” But others believe López actually said he felt he had been “the worst teammate” in the league. López, who is from Puerto Rico, speaks English as a second language. SNY reporter Steve Gelbs asked López whether he meant to say he was on the worst team in the league and Lopez replied, “Yeah, probably. It looked like [it].”

According to multiple reports, the team asked López. to clarify his comments and he said that he meant he was both the worst teammate and on the worst team. (López said in an Instagram post on Thursday morning that he meant to say he was the “worst teammate.”)

López also apparently lied in his postgame interview when he said he had not met with manager Carlos Mendoza to discuss the glove toss. It should come as no surprise, then, that López was reportedly designated for assignment.

López's on-field outburst and apparent bashing of his team were just the latest in a series of misfortunes for the Mets. Struggling former star closer Edwin Díaz was placed on the injured list earlier Wednesday and slugger Pete Alonso left the game after being hit on the wrist by a pitch. Imploding in the late innings and losing yet another game while also having a player throw a public tantrum made for a grim atmosphere in the clubhouse. After the conclusion of the game, the players held a 40-minute meeting.

“It just felt like a boiling-over point,” outfielder Brandon Nimmo said. “It felt like the right time to do it. You try and give space.”

Shortstop Francisco Lindor was the one who called the meeting and said he would have done so even if López had not thrown his glove. He said the point of the meeting was “holding each other accountable.”

The players at least all seem to be in agreement that they desperately need to turn things around.

“We stink right now,” Ottavino said. “Doesn’t mean we’re going to stink going forward, but that’s just the reality of the situation.”

Texas QB Quinn Ewers carries the ball vs. Washington in the College Football Playoff semifinal.
Quinn Ewers (3) will lead Texas in its first season in the SEC. / Sara Diggins/American-Statesman / USA

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4. This cool angle of Christian Yelich’s long home run.
3. A nice diving play by New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe. He also extended his hitting streak to 21 games.
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1. The photo a fan took after catching López's mitt.

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Dan Gartland


Dan Gartland is the writer and editor of Sports Illustrated’s flagship daily newsletter, SI:AM, covering everything an educated sports fan needs to know. Previously published on Deadspin and Slate, Dan also is a former Sports Jeopardy! champion (Season 1, Episode 5).