Mets pitcher Jorge López reacts during the eighth inning against...

Mets pitcher Jorge López reacts during the eighth inning against the Dodgers in an MLB game at Citi Field on Wednesday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

In deciding to cut reliever Jorge Lopez from the roster, a move that became official Thursday afternoon, the Mets wanted to send a message to the rest of the players, Carlos Mendoza said: Certain behaviors are not acceptable.

“We have standards here. Behavior like that, we weren’t going to tolerate that,” the manager said before the Mets’ series opener with the Diamondbacks. “When you’re not playing well, guys will show emotions. There’s frustrations. But there’s a fine line. Yesterday, we went over that line. We’re not going to tolerate that.”

Lopez’s episode marked a new low for the spiraling Mets, but Mendoza declined to specify what behavior specifically team decision-makers deemed worthy of that punishment.

During a loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday, Lopez, who had just been ejected from the game, tossed his glove over the protecting netting and into the stands behind the Mets’ dugout at Citi Field. Afterward, in a profanity-laced interview, he said “I don’t regret it,” lied when he said he had not met with Mendoza and president of baseball operations David Stearns, and described himself as “looking [like] the worst teammate in probably the whole [expletive] MLB.”

The Mets informed Lopez that they were designating him for assignment only after his interview, according to a person familiar with the situation. They did not reveal their intentions during his initial meeting with the bosses; it is not clear when they actually decided.

“I’m not going to get into the details of the timing,” Mendoza said. “It felt like we needed to do something.”

Pete Alonso said: “I didn’t think that I would ever see that [glove toss into the stands] in a baseball game. So yeah. He reacted how he reacted.”


Lopez apologized “to my teammates, coaches, fans and front office” in a statement posted to his Instagram page, written in Spanish and translated to English by his agent, Edwin Rodriguez of Wasserman.

“I feel that I let them down yesterday, both on and off the field,” Lopez wrote. “I also want to clarify my postgame 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.’”

Lopez was misquoted as saying he was “on the worst team in probably the whole [expletive] MLB.” That version of his answer circulated widely.

The cause of the confusion: Lopez, a Puerto Rico native who has played professional baseball since 2011, was speaking in his second language and his words were not clear.

Team officials and Lopez’s agent said the Mets offered the services of their Spanish interpreter, as they did periodically in his several months with the team, but he declined. In the recent past, Lopez routinely conducted interviews in broken English.

“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,” his statement read.

Rodriguez added: “He thought it was best to do it was he always does it. It didn’t work out.”

And Francisco Lindor: “I fully understand the mistake on his side, by mumbling team/teammates. I’m not here to point fingers. I do feel like I wish he had the time to talk differently or talk in a different moment.”

Lopez claimed he had not met with Stearns and Mendoza because he wanted to avoid follow-up questions about the details of that conversation, Rodriguez said.

Lopez was among the Mets’ more reliable relievers, posting a 3.76 ERA in a team-high 28 appearances. Mendoza said his previous experiences with the righthander were “fine” and commended him for being “always available.”

Subtracting Lopez adds stress to a bullpen already in shambles following an injury to Edwin Diaz (right shoulder impingement), season-ending surgery for Brooks Raley (left elbow torn ligament) and the recent struggles of Adam Ottavino.

Mendoza was glad that his players took it upon themselves to hold a lengthy players-only meeting Wednesday night, calling it “important for them to let it all out.”

On Thursday afternoon, the entire infield was out early for extra defensive practice, a rare occurrence.

“It’s a game of adjustments and it starts with your preparation,” Mendoza said. “Talk about accountability. We talk about a process, you’re always looking for ways to get better. You’re always looking for ways to improve. That starts with your preparation. That’s what some of the guys are talking about here. Continue to push each other.”


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