López’s Mets tenure ends after hurling glove, ripping team (2024)

NEW YORK — A debate ensued shortly after the jarring words left Jorge López’s mouth. Did the ​​now-former New York Mets reliever really say he had been playing with “the worst team in the whole f—ing MLB?” Or did he say he was “the worst teammate in the whole f—ing MLB”?

When asked later by a team source which word he meant, López said both.


There was, however, no mistaking what the Mets said to López in response: See ya.

López was designated for assignment, capping a wild day in which the pitcher launched his glove into the stands following his ejection during the Mets 10-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The defeat led to a players’ only team meeting, as the reeling club sent struggling closer Edwin Díaz to the injured list while bracing for the results of an MRI on star first baseman Pete Alonso’s wrist.

On Thursday, Lopez clarified his comments and said he’s “the worst teammate.”

“Who ever hear me I said teammate’ and what I said on the situation I been the worst teammate. Thanks media for make it worse,” López posted on Instagram.

Jorge López has been ejected by third base umpire Ramon De Jesus.

López threw his glove into the crowd on his way off the field. pic.twitter.com/5BlF6badFQ

— SNY (@SNYtv) May 29, 2024

When he spoke with reporters after the game, López said he had yet to meet with Mets manager Carlos Mendoza regarding the incident. However, multiple club sources disputed that characterization, saying that ahead of addressing the media, López had already spoken with both Mendoza and president of baseball operations David Stearns.

According to a club source, the Mets jettisoned López after his ill-fated media session, in which the pitcher remained shockingly blunt.

“I don’t regret it,” López said of his glove toss, the result of a heated discussion with third-base umpire Ramon De Jesus over a call about a checked swing.

Mendoza, the club’s first-year manager, called the outburst “unacceptable.”

Nothing tops López throwing his glove, but so much about the Mets season has tested tolerance levels during their 22-33 start. By Wednesday, seemingly everyone within the club reached a collective breaking point.


Lopez’s actions may have been out of line, but his word choice was spot on. For the Mets, Wednesday qualified as the worst. No word better befits a club that has spent the past few weeks in a freefall. The dark joke around the Mets often goes, “Wait until tomorrow.” But can it even get worse this time?

López won’t be around to find out, but eventful hardly begins to describe Wednesday at Citi Field.

At 3:55 p.m. ET, the club placed Díaz, the struggling closer, on the 15-day injured list with shoulder impingement (he said he expects to return once eligible). Less than 30 minutes later, Alonso was plunked on the hand by a 93 mph fastball. X-rays came out normal, Mendoza said, but the Mets won’t have full test results until Thursday.

At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Mets endured another loss due to a blown lead, sloppy defense and an inability to hit when it matters most.

Fifteen minutes later, Mendoza spoke to reporters for a handful of minutes. Normally, the clubhouse opens immediately afterward. Not Wednesday. Media was not allowed inside until 8:09 p.m. ET.

Francisco Lindor led the team meeting, saying his instincts told him to call it. The Mets had been reluctant to call meetings. Mendoza had said he wasn’t into them. Players had said they’d talked enough. So much for that.

Reliever Adam Ottavino said some players who do not normally speak, spoke up. Over approximately 20 minutes, several players took turns taking the floor, airing out why they believe the Mets have hit rock bottom.

According to Brandon Nimmo, the players didn’t address López’s actions directly, though they “addressed everything that has led up to this point.” Added Nimmo: “There are more issues that needed to be talked about.”

What kind of issues?

“Other issues that I would characterize as our process and our preparation and the way that we are playing on the field,” Nimmo said. “We get that frustration happens and it boils over and we do things that we wish we didn’t do. I am not going to crucify someone for that. I’ve sinned in my own ways. We’re going to address the situation. But there’s more that needs to be addressed.”


Nothing around the Mets has gone right since the Atlanta Braves caught up to them late in 2022 and snatched the division title away. In 2023, the Mets were irrelevant by June. There’s been some turnover, but the core group of Alonso, Nimmo, Lindor and a few others remains the same. In 2024, they may be irrelevant even sooner.

“We stink right now,” Ottavino said. “Doesn’t mean we’re going to stink going forward, but that’s just the reality of the situation.”

The Mets have myriad issues. Their offense is inconsistent at best. By defensive runs saved, the Mets rank last in the majors. Their pitching staff has the highest walk rate. Their core group of players has underachieved. On Wednesday, it was more of the same. They made two errors, their bullpen imploded — in more ways than one, considering López — and they scored in just one inning during their loss to the Dodgers, their 19th loss over their past 25 games.

A few Mets veterans mentioned “processes” being wrong and they described individual problems that will require people to be honest with themselves. That was discussed heavily.

“That’s part of the meeting — look each other in the eye and say, ‘You said something, and I don’t see it,’” Lindor said. “We gotta step up. We gotta do it the right way. That’s part of holding each other accountable and believing that every one of us is doing what it takes to win with the New York Mets.”

Lindor said he would’ve called the team meeting even if López hadn’t tossed his glove into the stands. At some point, he just said he thought to himself, “We gotta talk … We gotta talk.”

“100 percent,” Lindor said. “It has nothing to do with López. We didn’t lose the game because of López. I’m not much of a rah-rah person, that’s not me. I put my head down, I grind and work hard to be the best I can be. So I wanted to let everybody talk. How do we change this? What can we do? Give me some knowledge.


“That’s where we’re at.”

That remains an unfortunate place to reside in. It no longer includes López, who seemed to sense his own vulnerability.

“I’m ready to come back tomorrow if they want me here,” López said. “So I’ll be here.”

That he won’t be only underscored the consequences of his actions.

López’s best throw Wednesday was getting his glove over the netting into the stands, but prior to the game, he had performed decently in his first year with the Mets after signing a one-year deal. The 31-year-old has played with six teams though he was an All-Star with Baltimore in 2022. Given their bullpen struggles and lack of healthy options during a long, grueling stretch, the Mets could’ve used someone like López for a while longer.

But even that need was not enough for López to make it to the end of the Mets’ worst day of the season.

Required reading

  • Mets’ issues raise concerns for present and future: David Stearns weighs in
  • Mets continue to lose in ways that make trade deadline decisions easier
  • Mets need more from their core if they expect to make a playoff run

(Photo: Adam Hunger / Getty Images)

López’s Mets tenure ends after hurling glove, ripping team (1)López’s Mets tenure ends after hurling glove, ripping team (2)

Will Sammon is a staff writer for The Athletic, covering the New York Mets. A native of Queens, New York, Will previously covered the Milwaukee Brewers and Florida Gators football for The Athletic, starting in 2018. Before that, he covered Mississippi State for The Clarion-Ledger, Mississippi’s largest newspaper. Follow Will on Twitter @WillSammon

López’s Mets tenure ends after hurling glove, ripping team (2024)


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