Rat Or Raccoon? The Mets Debate What Was Roaming By Their Dugout Friday Against Arizona

It's not been an easy start in the Big Apple for New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor. His 'transition' to New York from Cleveland has been tough, as he entered Friday's game hitting .175 as the Mets sat a game back of the Philadelphia Phillies with a mark of 14-13.

Lindor wasn't the big story on Friday night as the Mets rallied to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, it had everything to do with a furry rodent that we still don't know what it was.

The Mets shortstop homered in the 7th to tie the game, and New York won the affair when rookie Patrick Mazeika drove in Pete Alonso with a fielder's choice in the 10th inning.

Lindor's homer can't be celebrated like he would have liked, as video showed something taking place in the Mets' tunnel, with a few Mets players running and pointing at whatever it was.

Turned out in speaking to the team, it looked like it was either a New York 'rat' (yes there's a difference between rats in NY and other cities in the country), or a raccoon.

No matter how you look at it, the night was filled with drama with New York, who just can't seem to get out of the news these days.

Even their own players were on the move as they looked towards their own dugout and saw an animal that clearly wasn't supposed to be there.

After the last out of the bottom of the seventh, something happened in the Mets' tunnel. Video from the incident showed several Mets running toward it and pointing. Then everyone came out on the field to take their position, and speculation erupted on social media that Lindor and McNeil had gotten into some kind of altercation, though there was no way from the video circulating around to tell if that's what happened.

So everyone had to wait until after the game for answers. And the answers they got from Lindor could not have been more unexpected if he had been a known devotee of surrealism. He did not dance around the topic but went straight to it. It was all about a rat ... or maybe a raccoon. Yes, you read that correctly. That was Lindor's story.

"It was funny," Lindor said. "I told that I'd never seen a New York rat. So went down sprinting. I wanted to go see a New York rat. And he's like, 'No, it's not a rat. It's a raccoon.' I was like, 'Hell no! It's a damn rat. It's a New York rat.'"

"Probably one of the groundskeepers came and grabbed it," Lindor said. "I still have to go back and see whether it was a rat or a raccoon."

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Matt has been a part of the Cleveland Sports landscape working in the media since 1994 when he graduated from broadcasting school. His coverage beats include the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. He's written three books, and won the "2020 AP Sports Stringer Lifetime Service Award."