Mets to cut Lopez after throwing glove into stands

Published 10:58 pm Wednesday, May 29, 2024

NEW YORK (AP) — Jorge López will be cut by the struggling New York Mets after the reliever threw his glove into the stands following his ejection Wednesday at Citi Field.

Mets manager Carlos Mendoza called the outburst “not acceptable” and said it would be handled internally. López expressed no remorse over his display.

“I don’t regret it. I think I’ve been looking (like) the worst teammate probably in the whole MLB,” he said, using a profanity during a bizarre and confusing postgame interview in the Mets’ clubhouse.

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López lied when he told reporters he hadn’t spoken yet with Mendoza or president of baseball operations David Stearns about the outburst, according to a person familiar with the situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose that detail publicly.

López gave up a two-run homer to Shohei Ohtani late in New York’s 10-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Moments later, the right-hander was ejected for shouting at third base umpire Ramon De Jesus over an appeal ruling on Freddie Freeman’s checked swing.

“It’s just emotions. The game, it just takes you there,” López said.

López pointed at De Jesus and yelled some more, then dropped the ball and walked off the mound with his jersey untucked. As he approached the Mets’ dugout, he tossed his glove high over the protective netting and it landed a couple of rows deep in the stands, where it was snagged by a fan.

“It definitely doesn’t look good,” said Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor, who initiated a players-only meeting in the clubhouse following New York’s 15th loss in 19 games.

“If our manager says it’s unacceptable, it’s unacceptable. I hope tomorrow, (López) feels completely different.”

After his cap fell off his head as well, López left it laying in the dirt in front of the dugout and headed for the bench.

“I’m the way I am,” he said. “I’m not afraid to be me.”

López, however, said he thought his teammates were embarrassed.

“Jorge’s a good guy inside. Deep down, he knows he shouldn’t have done that, obviously,” veteran reliever Adam Ottavino said. “Everybody’s going through stuff.”

After the game, the Mets began the process of designating López for assignment. They will have seven days to trade or release him, or send him outright to the minors if no other team claims him on waivers.

In his first season with the Mets, the 31-year-old López is 1-2 with a 3.76 ERA and two saves in 28 appearances — among the most in the majors. He signed a $2 million, one-year contract with New York in December.

López pitched for three playoff teams last season, going 6-2 with a 5.95 ERA and three saves in 61 relief appearances for Minnesota, Miami and Baltimore.

He moved exclusively to the bullpen in 2022 and was a dominant closer for the Orioles during four breakout months that earned him an All-Star selection. Baltimore traded him to the Twins in early August that year and he finished 4-7 with a 2.54 ERA and 23 saves in 67 games.