Will the Mets hit Rhys Hoskins for his slide on Jeff McNeil?

Emotions ran high and the old-school baseball response is for a batter to get hit.
Milwaukee Brewers v New York Mets
Milwaukee Brewers v New York Mets / Christopher Pasatieri/GettyImages

Was it dirty? The slide by Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Rhys Hoskins into New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil had the baseball world abuzz. Having personally studied the footage like the Zapruder film, the conclusion I’ve come to is that the slide isn’t dirty but it’s that final unnecessary turn of the body about 4 and a half seconds into the clip below which crosses the line.

It’s not the slide that was so dirty as much as it was the act of throwing his upper body into McNeil that caused the ruckus. In either case, Hoskins continued his legacy created in Philadelphia. This was a personal moment between McNeil and Hoskins—as hot headed as each has proven they can be at times.

Next up, two more games against each other. And the question everyone immediately goes to is how the Mets find retribution. Do they throw at Hoskins today or Sunday?

The Mets can’t afford to lose a pitcher to suspension right now

If it’s true that the Mets will in fact be contenders this year for a wild card spot, the last thing they can do is ask Luis Severino to exit early because he hit Hoskins with a pitcher. Worse than getting tossed in one game is the suspension that’ll follow. Let’s look at this from the big picture. The Mets don’t need to make a statement here.

In only his second games as Mets manager, Carlos Mendoza has an opportunity to show how tough his team is by asking Severino or any of his relievers to plunk Hoskins. That’s not the way to do business. This isn’t advocating against a violent baseball brawl; as lame as they always tend to be. This is sleeping it off for a night and realizing the best retribution is to actually beat the Brewers.

This moment between McNeil and Hoskins is debatable in terms of who was right or wrong. The pair each had a part in escalating the situation. McNeil, clearly frustrated, immediately reacted and made this into something it didn’t have to be. Hoskins, only confronting McNeil later from the bench, didn’t help matters much either.

Imagine being a legend for retreating and hiding from the trouble you caused.

So what do the Mets do? Just accept it?

Well, no. Not at all.

No one was hurt, thankfully. Throwing at Hoskins accomplishes very little if the end result is making them shorthanded with pitchers. They don’t have a single optional reliever available to make an adjustment to survive the prolonged absence of an arm. Clobbering the Brewers where it hurts most, the standings, is the only kind of retribution that would be satisfying. Putting Hoskins on base isn’t the solution.

Don’t expect any head hunting. Instead, expect the adrenaline of Mets pitchers to be elevated whenever Hoskins is at the plate over the next two days. Pray to whatever being you believe in that we get a moment with McNeil coming up huge at the plate.

The strong emotions will fester for the weekend. With Hoskins at first base and McNeil at second base, there’s a good chance they can hash things out in a competitive way without having to resort to hitting anyone with a baseball.

If your blood wasn’t pumping on Opening Day, prepare for elevated blood pressure for the rest of the weekend when these two continue to clash. Both are highly emotional players. They aren't going to let this go.