NEW YORK — As if the New York Mets don't have enough problems on the field, another off-field incident has marred what is left of their off-field image.
After Tuesday night's 4-3 victory over Florida, a player sprayed what appeared to be bleach at a group of reporters in the Met clubhouse. Dave D'Alessandro, who covers the Mets for the Record of Hackensack, N.J., said some of the liquid got on his face.
"I was slightly turned with my right ear . . . to get a few words from Doc (Gooden) when some of us in the back felt sprinkles on our back," D'Alessandro said. "I did feel the back of my neck and it was Clorox, and I did get some on the side of my face, not too far from my left eye."
Bleach, a solution of sodium hypochlorite in water, is corrosive to the mucous membranes that protect many vital parts of the body. It can cause blindness if it gets in the eyes and is not quickly removed. It damages the interior of the lungs if it is inhaled, impairing breathing. If swallowed, it irritates the throat and stomach and can produce holes in their linings akin to ulcers. Prolonged exposure also irritates skin.
WINS radio quoted two sources as saying that the player spraying the reporters was Bret Saberhagen, who denied it.
Saberhagen, according to the New York Times, admitted throwing a firecracker under a table near reporters in the clubhouse July 7.
"It was a practical joke," Saberhagen was quoted as saying. "If the reporters can't take it, forget them."
On Saturday, Met outfielder Vince Coleman allegedly threw an explosive device from Eric Davis' car in the Dodger Stadium players' parking lot. The explosion injured three, two of them children.
Rich Levin, a spokesman for the executive council, said baseball is investigating the bleach incident. The Mets also said they are investigating.