NEW YORK — One day after throwing his glove into the stands following his ejection, former All-Star reliever Jorge López was tossed by the New York Mets on Thursday in a decision intended as a message to the struggling clubhouse.

López was designated for assignment before a series opener against NL champion Arizona.

''We have standards here," Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said. ''When you're not playing well, guys will show emotions. There's frustrations, but there's a fine line and yesterday we went over that line, and we're not going to tolerate that."

López issued a statement apologizing to teammates, coaches, fans and the front office.

''I feel like a let them down yesterday, both on and off the field,'' he wrote. ''I wish the team the best.''

Mendoza would not specify whether the decision was made over solely over López's behavior or whether the pitcher's postgame interview was a factor. López said: ''I don't regret it. I think I've been looking (like) the worst teammate probably in the whole ... MLB'' interjecting a profanity.

López spoke quickly and some thought he said ''worst team."

''My efforts to address the media in English created some confusion and generated headlines that do not reflect what I was trying to express,'' López wrote.

Mets first baseman Pete Alonso said López's postgame remark "got misconstrued.''

'I feel for him and I hope he's doing OK mentally because I know he's gotten a lot of scrutiny for what people thought he said," Alonso explained.

Mendoza said the team's decision was not made because of on-field performance. The 31-year-old López was 1-2 with a 3.76 ERA and two saves in 28 appearances — among the most in the major leagues.

''He was always available,'' the manager said. ''This was more like we have stanards here and yesterday was one of those where we felt like we needed to do something.''

New York began Thursday 22-33 despite baseball's highest payroll, and Mendoza said the decision was made to send a message to players.

''I'm talking about standards, right,'' he said. ''There's going to be times where you're going to see frustration for players, but there's a fine line and ... behaviors like that we're not going tolerate.''

New York has seven days to trade or release López, or to assign him outright to the minors if he goes unclaimed. He signed a $2 million, one-year contract with New York in December.

His roster spot was filled by left-hander Danny Young, who was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse. Mendoza said when informed of the decision, López ''was respectful, but he didn't say much."

An All-Star in 2022, López spent time on the 15-day injured list with Minnesota last summer to address mental health after acting out frustration during mound struggles.

''I'm not going to get into his personal life, his personal situation,'' Mendoza said.

López gave up a two-run homer to Shohei Ohtani late in a 10-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday. 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.

''I didn't think that I would ever see that in a baseball game,'' Alonso said. ''It's unfortunate what happened.''

After López's 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.''

Mets players held a team meeting after Wednesday's defeat, their 15th in 19 games.

''I like it because it's important for them to let it all out. And yesterday thought with them calling that meeting, it was needed for all of us,'' Mendoza said.

New York entered with 19 wins in its last 23 games against the Diamondbacks. Arizona manager Torey Lovullo thought back to May 7, 2021, when Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor and second baseman Jeff McNeil appeared to scrap in a dugout tunnel after combining to misplay a grounder. One claimed the disagreement stemmed from seeing a rat, the other a racoon. The Mets rallied for a 5-4 win.

''This team is dangerous and they're full of talent and experience,'' Lovullo said. "We're not going to take anything for granted. I remember being on this field, and I thought I saw the shortstop and the second baseman basically getting into a fight in the dugout, and they ended up being us pretty bad that day.''

___

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb