During early May, the New York Mets made the news for an apparent altercation between Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil in the tunnel that connects the clubhouse with the dugout. The incident got famous when the players involved told the media that they were arguing about whether they just saw a rat or a raccoon.
“It was funny, ’cause I told [McNeil], ‘Hey, I’ve never seen a New York rat,’ ” Lindor said back then. “So we went down sprinting, about to go see a New York rat, and he got mad at me. He’s like, ‘No, it’s not a New York rat, it’s a raccoon.’ I’m like, ‘Hell no! It’s a damn rat.’ Crazy, because we were going back and forth debating if it was a rat or a raccoon. Crazy, man.”
According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, we now know what was behind the scuffle. Obviously, it wasn’t a rat or a raccoon.
Lindor and McNeil going at it in the tunnel? 👀 pic.twitter.com/VnAcOWIXBY
— Master flip (@Masterflip_) May 8, 2021
Puma explained: “The shortstop (Lindor), frustrated by the second baseman’s (McNeil) latest positioning gaffe and their ensuing argument, according to a club source, grabbed McNeil by the throat and pinned him against a wall in the tunnel. Before the situation could escalate, Mets players hearing the commotion arrived to break it up.”
The Mets’ infielders fought over positioning
At that time, Mets’ manager Luis Rojas said he didn’t quite get to the site in time to know what happened first-hand, but that the issue was buried.
“The one thing I ran into was Francisco saying, ‘Let’s go play ball. Let’s go play ball,’ ” Rojas said.
Apparently, the Mets’ $341 million man was very upset at McNeil for his poor positioning, and it was a recurrent issue.
“[Lindor] would always try to get him to move and Jeff would be like, ‘Shut up, I got it,’ ” a source said. “It was building and building.”
So, as you probably figured by now, it wasn’t about a rat or a raccoon.