It may be July, but at first glance, it certainly appeared that Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud had himself a moment straight out of “A Christmas Story.”
It happened moments after Saturday’s 5-4 victory over the Marlins. The video (courtesy of Twitter user @sp219) shows d’Arnaud greeting closer Jenrry Mejia on the pitcher’s mound -- shortly after Mejia celebrated (in his typical no-holds-barred way) recording the final out.
After they meet, d’Arnaud ripped off his catcher’s mask and appeared to turn toward the Marlins dugout, before uttering what Ralphie once called, “THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the "F-dash-dash-dash" word!” Yes, it would have been easy to believe that d’Arnaud was firing back at the Marlins dugout -- perhaps at players upset with Mejia’s not-so-subtle celebration.
So, were those fighting words? Not quite.
“I was talking to the umpire,” d’Arnaud told me. “Make sure to write that.”
The umpire’s name? It was Alfonso Marquez, hence the confusion (feel free to sound it out).
To leave no doubt, d’Arnaud laughed and offered to be recorded saying the name “Alfonso,” to convince those whose lipreading skills may have been put to the test.
Mejia seemed to get a laugh about it as well. Just like d’Arnaud, Mejia said he heard no chirping out of the Marlins dugout on Saturday. So, there would have been no reason to fire back.
But even if there was bad blood, Mejia said he wouldn’t be bothered by it. Since becoming the Mets closer, he has been unapologetic about wearing his emotions on his sleeve. If opponents believe his celebrations to be excessive, he believes they can answer by simply scoring runs.
“I don’t care, I’m just going to play my game,” Mejia said. “I’m not going to change. I don’t give a (fudge).”
Only, he didn’t say fudge.