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Mets top Diamondbacks after rat-raccoon debate – or something else?

Something happened during the seventh inning of Friday night’s Mets-Diamondbacks game in New York – aside from the traditional seventh-inning stretch.

TV cameras caught Mets players Michael Conforto and Dom Smith rushing into the tunnel behind the Mets dugout, where reportedly teammates Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil had gone first. Other players soon followed.

After the game, Lindor claimed he and McNeil were simply debating whether a critter seen scurrying around in the tunnel was a rat or a raccoon.

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“I told him, I’ve never seen a New York rat and we went down sprinting, about to go see a New York rat, and he got mad at me, like, ‘No, it’s not a rat, it’s a raccoon,’” Lindor told reporters, according to the New York Post.

“Like, hell no man, that’s a damn rat,” Lindor continued. “That’s a New York rat. I was just crazy because we were going back and forth, debating whether it was a rat or a raccoon. Crazy, man. Insane.”

McNeil later told a similar story, according to The Associated Press.

Raccoon or rat? Maybe Mr. Met knows.

He said the Mets were a team that “just like to have fun,” and that anyone who suspected something different was going on, “can believe whatever they want.”

Prior to the curious incident, infielders Lindor and McNeil had messed up on a defensive play, according to the AP. But Lindor insisted there were no hard feelings between the pair.

New York Mets' Francisco Lindor runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run off Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Caleb Smith during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Friday, May 7, 2021, in New York. (Associated Press)

New York Mets’ Francisco Lindor runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run off Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Caleb Smith during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Friday, May 7, 2021, in New York. (Associated Press)

“I can bring him out and give him a kiss on the cheek if you want,” Lindor told reporters.

In the bottom of the seventh, after the commotion had ended, Lindor smacked a game-tying homerun and the Mets went on to win 5-4.

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Mets manager Luis Rojas claimed he didn’t know what had happened in the tunnel. Mets owner Steve Cohen, meanwhile, seemed happy about Lindor’s big hit.

“That was BIG,” Cohen wrote on Twitter.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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