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Mets' Francisco Lindor, Jeff McNeil Rat-Raccoon Mystery Finally Uncovered

After six months, the rat-raccoon feud between Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil has finally been uncovered.

At last, the moment you've all been waiting for.

The bizarre rat and raccoon mystery saga from early-May, where Mets middle infielders Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil got into it over a misplay on a ground ball, has finally been solved.

Following McNeil's latest positioning miscue, which sparked a heated argument, Lindor grabbed him by the throat and pinned him against the wall in the dugout tunnel, as Mike Puma of The New York Post discovered.

Luckily, a slew of Mets players heard the altercation ensue and went rushing down the stairs of the dugout to break it up before the situation could escalate any further.

After the Mets defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks by a score of 5-4, both McNeil and Lindor made up a story that an animal appeared in the tunnel and they were arguing over whether it was a rat or a raccoon. 

Team officials later refused to confirm the tale that these players created after their dust up due to the blatant absurdity it portrayed.

In fact, tensions between this double play combo had been building for several weeks due to McNeil's lack of compliance with the Mets' new-found shifting philosophy. 

McNeil made two additional misplays on defense as a result of his positioning in late-April when the Mets got swept by the Cubs at Wrigley Field. And as Puma also reported, then manager Luis Rojas actually threatened to bench McNeil if he continued to refuse getting on board with the club's shifting. 

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As it turns out, Rojas followed through with his warning by sitting McNeil on April 22 in Chicago and April 25 at Citi Field vs. the Nationals, but it is unknown which game he was sat down for disciplinary reasons, per Puma.

McNeil was dismissive about the team's positioning strategy, which angered Lindor and led to the eventual blow up on May 7.

“[Lindor] would always try to get him to move and Jeff would be like, ‘Shut up, I got it,’ ” a source told The Post. “It was building and building.”

Although McNeil and Lindor appeared to make amends with each other, their time as double play partners would not last much longer, as McNeil strained his hamstring a week later and missed a full month.

Upon his return from the IL, this tandem started just 18 more games together before Lindor landed on the shelf with a strained oblique.

Lindor came back in late-August, but by then, his good friend Javier Báez was acquired by the Mets at the trade deadline from the Cubs and became their new second baseman.

As for McNeil, he took over in left field for the remainder of the season, as Lindor and Báez shined for the Mets in the middle of their infield. 

With Báez now a free agent, Lindor has made it clear that he is going to lobby for the Mets to retain him. At the very least, the lack of chemistry between Lindor and McNeil makes it hard to imagine that the Mets will run it back with this duo up the middle again in 2022.

This gives them all the more reason to bring back Báez, which would make him a mainstay alongside Lindor for the foreseeable future.

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