The Jorge López Situation Is Only Getting Worse for the Mets

The Jorge López situation is more complicated than a player having a bad day.
The Mets have cut ties with López after his ejection and subsequent outburst Wednesday.
The Mets have cut ties with López after his ejection and subsequent outburst Wednesday. / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Jorge López was designated for assignment by the New York Mets on Thursday. The move came the day after he was ejected from the Mets' latest team meltdown. López was struggling on the mound and another game was slipping away from the Mets when he started arguing with third base umpire Ramon De Jesus about a call. After De Jesus ejected him, he untucked his jersey and threw his glove over the protective netting into the stands.

Speaking to the media after the game he called himself the worst teammate in baseball, but struggled to make it clear that's what he meant because English is his second language. It was a mess all around and this morning he blamed the media for making it worse, which they did, even if it was unintentional.

With the Mets' nonstop misfortunes and López DFA'd with his future up in the air, it's hard to imagine this getting worse. And yet, it has. This morning on Boomer and Gio, Boomer Esiason revealed that López was also dealing with issues off the field.

"I can totally understand why you may lose it on the field the way that he did," Esiason said, "and I can also understand now why internally they may have handled it a little bit differently than I would have liked it. So his son, as I understand, is waiting for a transplant. And its a very serious situation and I don't know what's going through this young man's head. All I do know is there was a year where I had to play without knowing what Gunnar was going through and I know exactly how difficult that is to try to balance those two things."

Esiason then wondered if the Mets could have put López on the 15-day DL for a mental health break and brought up the fact that it is Mental Health Awareness Month.

"It does really bring up a very good point," Esiason continued. "Now we can make fun of it because it's the Mets and it's a mess and everything else, but there's something serious going on in this young man's life. And I just wanted to offer an apology with the way that I went about it this morning. It's just not appropriate and I want to wish him and his family the very best and hopefully, he can get the help that he needs."

According to Yahoo!'s Jake Mintz, López's son, Mikael, suffers from Familial Mediterranean Fever, "a condition that causes immense physical discomfort and has required regular hospital visits and multiple transplants." The illness often keeps Mikael from watching his father play and yesterday was his 11th birthday.

If you're still upset with López after reading that, you're the problem. And that's what the Mets need to realize very quickly. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like they did based on this comment from Carlos Mendoza this afternoon.

"We have standards here," Mendoza said, "and I told you guys yesterday that behaviors like that we weren't going to tolerate that. So that's why we made that decision. We addressed it. And now we've got the Diamondbacks here."

López has already established that he was the bad teammate, so you're left with the glove toss being an unforgivable sin. Something so embarrassing to a club that there's no turning back. Keep in mind Bryce Harper destroyed a bat in the middle of a full Phillies dugout the same day that Lopez harmlessly tossed a glove into the stands. How is throwing a glove any worse than anytime a guy has destroyed a water cooler when something didn't go his way?

But that's besides the point. López made a few mistakes and none of them seem unforgivable. Especially when you combine the current vibes surrounding the Mets organization and what must feel like a terrifying and impossible situation at home. Should he be suspended or fined? Sure, he was out of line. But if the Mets turn their backs on him right now, it's irresponsible and wrong.

If the Mets can help this one player who clearly needs it right now then they can't consider this a lost season. No matter what happens on the field.

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Stephen Douglas


Stephen Douglas is a Senior Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. He has been in journalism and media since 2008, and now casts a wide net with coverage across all sports. Stephen spent more than a decade with The Big Lead and has previously written for Uproxx and The Sporting News. He has three children, two degrees and one now unverified Twitter account.