WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Asdrubal Cabrera can’t recall having heard of a player being ejected from a spring training game. Yet there he was on a rainy Thursday afternoon, still bemused as he left the Mets’ clubhouse during a 1-0 loss to the Nationals.
While standing at first base moments after a fourth-inning single, Cabrera shouted at plate umpire Angel Hernandez, who responded with the boot.
Both men still were fuming after a dispute over a timeout during the at-bat. Cabrera asked for time and Hernandez said it was too late before ordering the veteran shortstop back into the batter’s box.
“I was like, ‘C’mon, can we talk a little bit?’ ” Cabrera said of Hernandez, who clearly was in no mood for talking.
With some aid from the Mets’ dugout, the chatter continued until Cabrera laced a hit and reached first. From there, he shouted at the ump.
“ ‘C’mon, man, you’re better than that,’ ” Cabrera said, recalling what he yelled at Hernandez. “And he threw me out.”
Cabrera’s afternoon ended with a deliberately slow exit. As manager Terry Collins argued, Cabrera soaked in boos from the crowd as he sauntered from the Mets’ dugout on the third- base side to the visitor’s clubhouse well beyond the fence in rightfield.
“The game’s for the players,” Collins said. “Let them play.”
The Mets hoped that outfielder Brandon Nimmo would have made enough progress from his injured hamstring to appear in games by now, but Collins indicated it could be much longer until Nimmo is ready. It’s a setback that further diminishes his long odds of making the Opening Day roster . . . Noah Syndergaard will make his second-to-last spring start on Friday . . . Jacob deGrom is slated to start on Saturday, though he might pitch in a minor-league game rather than travel to face the Braves.