NEW YORK – New York Mets President Sandy Alderson deplored statements from Javier Baez and the thumbs-down signals some players made to fans Sunday in their win over the Washington Nationals.
“These comments, and any deeds on the part of him or other players with a similar intention, are totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” Alderson said in a statement.
“Mets fans are understandably frustrated with the team’s recent performance. The players and the organization are just as frustrated, but the fans at Citi Field have every right to express their own disappointment. Booing is a right for every fan. “
Puerto Rican Báez, his compatriot shortstop Francisco Lindor and other Mets players have been the subject of boos at home this season. Báez, Lindor and Kevin Pillar they were among the players who showed the thumbs-down gesture on Sunday.
Baez hit a home run Sunday that traveled 440 feet in a 9-4 victory over the Nationals. After the game, the Puerto Rican infielder said the Mets players lowered their thumbs in response to fans who booed the team during an August into oblivion.
“When we do badly, they boo us,” said Baez. “So they will be booed when we do well.”
The Puerto Rican, who is hitting .210 with 22 strikeouts in 62 at-bats after being acquired in a trade with the Chicago Cubs on July 30, said the boo does not affect him but is discouraging.
“I love the fans very much and I like to play for the fans,” said Baez. “But we can’t have the fans against us.”
Dominican manager Luis Rojas, who heard chants calling for his firing Wednesday during a loss to the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday, said he was not aware of the significance of the gesture.
“I don’t think there was an intention to retaliate with the fans,” said Rojas. “We want to win for the team. We want to win for ourselves, for our bosses, our owner, our fans. That should be our focus.”
Rojas added that Baez’s reaction could be due to the adaptation process to the first trade of his career. Lindor, who signed a 10-year extension before making his debut with the Mets, and Pillar also serve their first seasons in New York.