Mets reliever Jorge López says his 'worst team' line was a misquote after getting DFA'd

López's statement contradicts his answer when he was asked for clarification Wednesday

New York Mets reliever Jorge López was designated for assignment on Thursday, ending his tenure with the team. According to him, there was some confusion on the way out.

López found infamy on Thursday via a sequence of events that saw him give up a two-run homer, get ejected for arguing over a checked swing with the third base ump, toss his glove into the crowd, then give a series of emotional quotes to reporters.

The quote that triggered the firestorm was widely reported, including by the Mets' cable network SNY, as "I think I've been on the worst team in probably the whole f***ing MLB."

A Mets player calling the team the worst in MLB, combined with the Mets' reported decision to DFA him as the quote started circling, saw plenty of interest and assorted reactions.

However, a day later, López posted on his Instagram story that he actually was saying "the worst teammate probably in the whole f***ing MLB", and said, "Thanks media for making it worse."

He expanded those thoughts in a statement posted to Instagram, saying he had no intention of disparaging the Mets:

"First and foremost, I apologize to my teammates, coaches, fans, and front office. I feel that I let them down yesterday, both on and off the field. I also want to clarify my post-game remarks, because I had no intention of disparaging the New York Mets organization.

"During that interview, I spoke candidly about my frustrations with my personal performance and how I felt it made me 'the worst teammate in the entire league.' Unfortunately, my efforts to address the media in English created some confusion and generated headlines that do not reflect what I was trying to express. I wish the team the best and hope that God continues to give me strength and guidance in my personal and professional life."

When a player says something as seemingly inflammatory as López supposedly did, it's best practice for the media to request clarification or further details to ensure what they report is accurate, especially when that player isn't a native English speaker.

Unfortunately for López's argument here, that is exactly what the media did.

The exchange between SNY's Steve Gelbs and López:

"Just to clarify because I didn't fully understand, did you say, "I'm on the worst team"? Is that what you had said?"

"Yeah, probably. It looked like." writer Anthony DiComo also reported that he sought clarification between "the worst team" and "the worst teammate" and was told López actually meant "the worst teammate on the worst team."

So there appears to have been more than one misunderstanding over what López actually said.

Or maybe López was just emotional about playing badly and getting ejected, tripped over his words, then lashed out when asked for clarification right after he was told he was getting DFA'd. The whole thing was a very sensitive situation in which he could have received more empathy.

Jorge López headshot
Jorge López
RP - CHC - #52
2024 - false season

It should also be explicitly said that it wasn't like the Mets heard what López said and decided to cut him for being a distraction. DiComo reported Thursday that López was DFA'd because "he embarrassed the organization with his actions and words, throwing his glove into the stands, lying about meeting with management and offering zero remorse."

May 11, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jorge López (52) during a game against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports
No matter what he said, Jorge López's final hours with the Mets were ugly. (John Jones-USA TODAY Sports)

The big quote was just one part of a very bad day for López, who was apparently less than truthful at one point when speaking with Mets management. Mets manager Carlos Mendoza declined to go into detail about the DFA decision, but implied López failed to meet the team's standards:

"We have standards here and I told you guys yesterday that behaviors like that, we weren't going to tolerate that. That's why we made the decision. We addressed it and now we've got the Diamondbacks in town."

Whatever confusion remains, the outcome is the same for López. The career journeyman will be looking for a new team after playing for four different ones between 2023 and 2024. The 31-year-old holds a career 5.42 ERA.