Francisco Lindor hit his first home run at Citi Field as a Met on Friday night, but not a trace of a smile could be seen on his face afterward. Maybe he was still frustrated by the early season slump that had the Flushing faithful booing him.
Or maybe Lindor was still furious after having a fight with his double play partner Jeff McNeil minutes before going deep.
It’s a shame we think about the latter, at least: Lindor told reporters after the game that he and McNeil were only debating whether a rat or raccoon had made its way into the park. Lindor had a rat, he said, and McNeil had a raccoon. Lindor had also rediscovered his smile and laughter by saying this.
“We went back and forth debating whether it was a rat or a raccoon”
SOUND to hear what happened in the tunnel between Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil from Francisco himself 🤣 pic.twitter.com/REn66S6nf3
– SNY (@SNYtv) May 8, 2021
McNeil contradicted Lindor when he touched the microphone: he said he thought it was a possum.
Jeff McNeil now tells the same story about a rat and a raccoon.
“To be honest, I thought it was a possum,” McNeil said.
– Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) May 8, 2021
In other words, the $ 341 million shortstop and a teammate whose nickname is “Squirrel” took time out during a tense game to spot a rodent rodent, after the two seemed to not communicate properly on a ground ball it became an in-box hit for Nick. Ahmed.
Good story, guys.
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The first clue that this was more than a wildlife expedition came from a replay between entries on the Mets broadcast. A SNY camera caught Michael Conforto, Dominic Smith and Jonathan Villar running into the tunnel between the dugout and the clubhouse in the middle of the seventh. Later, Pete Alonso came over to monitor the situation.
After the replay came some high school gossip: McNeil wasn’t on the bench to congratulate Lindor on his game-tying home run; Later, Smith was seen giving Lindor a pep talk before going to the field; smiles were rare afterwards. . . Whatever happens.
In the bottom of the ninth, a grim-looking Lindor gave grim-looking McNeil an awkward slap on the hip and a few words before McNeil hit an opening single.
But then Lindor bunted on a force out, the Mets couldn’t win in regulation (Alonso broke his bat after flying to finish ninth) and the game turned into extras. The Mets finally walked it in the bottom of the 10th on a fielder’s pick roll with the bases loaded from rookie catcher Patrick Mazeika. And everyone was really happy again when Mazeika’s jersey was ripped off between first and second base.
And then came the strange Lindor and McNeil cover story.
Maybe they can try to lure that rodent to the Queens Zoo and figure this out once and for all before Saturday’s game. A large slice of New York pizza should do the trick.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.