Mets' Mendoza says DFA'd López went 'over line' (2024)

  • ESPN News Services

May 30, 2024, 02:39 PM ET

NEW YORK -- Jorge Lopez was designated for assignment by the struggling New York Mets one day after the reliever threw his glove into the stands following his ejection, a move made to send a message to the rest of the team that petulant behavior will not be tolerated.

"We have standards here," Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said before Thursday's series opener against Arizona. "When you're not playing well, guys will show emotions. There's frustrations, but there's a fine line and yesterday went over that line."

Mendoza would not specify whether the decision was made over López's behavior or the behavior coupled with the pitcher's postgame interview.

"I don't regret it," López said when asked about throwing his glove over the netting into the crowd as he walked off the field. "I think I've been looking [like] the worst teammate probably in the whole f---ing MLB."

It was a comment he addressed further the next day, posting on his Instagram story that he indeed called himself the "worst teammate" and saying earlier stories from some outlets that initially misquoted him as saying he was on the "worst team" made the situation "worse."

López later expounded on those comments in a full statement on his Instagram account in which he apologized to his "teammates, coaches, fans and front office."

"I feel that I let them down yesterday, both on and off the field," López said. "I also want to clarify my post-game remarks, because I had no intention of disparaging the New York Mets organization. During that interview, I spoke candidly about my frustrations with my personal performance and how I felt it made me 'the worst teammate in the entire league.'

"Unfortunately, my efforts to address the media in English created some confusion and generated headlines that do not reflect what I was trying to express. I wish the team the best and hope that God continues to give me strength and guidance in my personal and professional life."

Mets first baseman Pete Alonso said López's postgame remark "got misconstrued."

"I feel for him and I hope he's doing OK mentally because I know he's gotten a lot of scrutiny for what people thought he said," Alonso explained.

Mendoza said the team's decision was not made because of on-field performance. The 31-year-old López was 1-2 with a 3.76 ERA and two saves in 28 appearances -- among the most in the major leagues.

"He was always available," the manager said. "This was more like we have standards here and yesterday was one of those where we felt like we needed to do something."

New York began Thursday 22-33 despite baseball's highest payroll, and Mendoza said the decision was made to send a message to players.

"I'm talking about standards, right," he said. "There's going to be times where you're going to see frustration for players, but there's a fine line and ... behaviors like that we're not going tolerate."

New York has seven days to trade or release López, or to assign him outright to the minors if he goes unclaimed. He signed a $2 million, one-year contract with New York in December.

His roster spot was filled by left-hander Danny Young, who was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse. Mendoza said when informed of the decision, López "was respectful, but he didn't say much."

An All-Star in 2022, López spent time on the 15-day injured list with Minnesota last summer to address mental health after acting out frustration during mound struggles.

"I'm not going to get into his personal life, his personal situation," Mendoza said.

López gave up a two-run homer to Shohei Ohtani late in a 10-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday. Moments later, the right-hander was ejected for shouting at third base umpire Ramon De Jesus over an appeal ruling on Freddie Freeman's checked swing.

"It's just emotions. The game, it just takes you there," López said.

López pointed at De Jesus and yelled some more, then dropped the ball and walked off the mound with his jersey untucked. As he approached the Mets' dugout, he tossed his glove high over the protective netting and it landed a couple of rows deep in the stands, where it was snagged by a fan.

"I didn't think that I would ever see that in a baseball game," Alonso said. "It's unfortunate what happened."

After López's cap fell off his head as well, López left it laying in the dirt in front of the dugout and headed for the bench.

"I'm the way I am," he said. "I'm not afraid to be me."

Mets players held a team meeting after Wednesday's defeat, their 15th in 19 games.

"I like it because it's important for them to let it all out. And yesterday thought with them calling that meeting, it was needed for all of us," Mendoza said.

New York entered with 19 wins in its last 23 games against the Diamondbacks. Arizona manager Torey Lovullo thought back to May 7, 2021, when Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor and second baseman Jeff McNeil appeared to scrap in a dugout tunnel after combining to misplay a grounder. One claimed the disagreement stemmed from seeing a rat, the other a racoon. The Mets rallied for a 5-4 win.

"This team is dangerous and they're full of talent and experience," Lovullo said. "We're not going to take anything for granted. I remember being on this field, and I thought I saw the shortstop and the second baseman basically getting into a fight in the dugout, and they ended up beating us pretty bad that day."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Mets' Mendoza says DFA'd López went 'over line' (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rob Wisoky

Last Updated:

Views: 5241

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (48 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rob Wisoky

Birthday: 1994-09-30

Address: 5789 Michel Vista, West Domenic, OR 80464-9452

Phone: +97313824072371

Job: Education Orchestrator

Hobby: Lockpicking, Crocheting, Baton twirling, Video gaming, Jogging, Whittling, Model building

Introduction: My name is Rob Wisoky, I am a smiling, helpful, encouraging, zealous, energetic, faithful, fantastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.