New York. Javier Baez and Francisco Lindor apologized to Mets fans yesterday after Baez revealed that a celebratory thumbs-down gesture adopted by players and employed on Sunday was in part an offense to New York fans who booed the club for its low performance.
Baez and Lindor took turns saying they were sorry with less than an hour of the first pitch of a game Tuesday against the Miami Marlins. That followed a stern statement from team president Sandy Alderson on Sunday night disavowing the gesture, as well as a team meeting Tuesday in which players said they would stop.
“I didn’t mean to offend anyone”Said Baez, 28, who was acquired from the Chicago Cubs on July 30 and has hit .210 with four home runs and a .709 OPS in 17 games since then.
Javier Báez provides more context on the thumbs down celebration, and issues an apology to fans:
“I didn’t mean to offend anybody. And if I offended anybody, we apologize.” pic.twitter.com/WpYnQ1HNFd
– SNY (@SNYtv) August 31, 2021
Mets fans booed him and others throughout August, when the team went 8-19 to fall out of playoff position after leading the NL East for nearly three months.
Players began thumbing down to their bench after extra-base hits and other positive plays while at Dodger Stadium since August. 20-22.
“When we don’t succeed, they’ll boo us,” Baez explained Sunday. “So we will boo them when we succeed.”
I didn’t say fans are bad, I love fans, but I felt like we were alone. The fans obviously want to win, and they pay our salary as everyone says, but we also want to win, and the frustration came to us. And, you know, it was not my intention to offend anyone, and if I did offend anyone, we apologize
Lindor and manager Luis Rojas said Tuesday that they believe Baez, whose first language is Spanish but does not use an interpreter when speaking to the media, was wrong when he said the Mets players were booing the fans. “
“I didn’t say the fans are bad, I love the fans, but I felt like we were alone,” Baez said yesterday. “The fans obviously want to win, and they pay our salary as everyone says, but we also want to win, and the frustration came to us. And, you know, I didn’t mean to offend anyone, and if I did offend someone, we apologize. “
Lindor also said that the gesture did not explicitly refer to fans.
“Thumb down to me means adversity, the adversity that we’ve been through all this time,” Lindor said. “Like the negatives, we got through it, so it’s like, we did it! We review it! “
Francisco Lindor on the boos and how important honesty is to him:
“It sucked getting booed, I don’t like it. However, I have sucked at times. I haven’t done my part when it comes to the offensive side.
The media here is an honest one, and the fans here are honest. ” pic.twitter.com/LIpG1i0yYa
– SNY (@SNYtv) August 31, 2021
“However, it was wrong, and I apologize to whoever I offended. It was not my intention to offend people, “added Lindor who also took the opportunity to thank those who previously understood and supported him during his difficult time this season and who had never appreciated their gestures before.
Baez and Lindor spoke to reporters in front of the Mets’ bench. Lindor was booed by some fans when he came out, and two boys raised thumbs-down signs behind him as he spoke.
Thumb down to me means adversity, the adversity that we’ve been through all this time. Like the negatives, we got through it, so it’s like, we did it! We review it! However, it was wrong, and I apologize to whoever I offended. I didn’t mean to offend people
After Baez concluded his apology, a fan yelled at him “Javy, we just want to win, bro!”
Lindor was booed before his first at-bat and again after making a successful sacrifice bunt.
Baez was not in the lineup for the restart of a rain-postponed game in the first inning on April 11, but it was likely that he would play in the second game of an unusual doubleheader.
Sorry to those who I offended !!
The ones I didn’t thank you for understanding !! #Loveyouguys
– Francisco Lindor (@ Lindor12BC) August 31, 2021
“I’m happy to hear our players apologize to the fans,” said first-year owner Steve Cohen on Twitter. “Let’s support our players today and let’s go out and win 2 today!”
The Mets aren’t the only club that opposes homemade teasing. Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco complained last week about boos from fans in Pittsburgh a couple of days before being released by the team.
“They have to understand that I am also a human being,” he said. Of course, New York is its own beast. Players and coaches hope that underperforming stars in the Big Apple will hear about it from fans.
Glad to hear our players apologizing to the fans. Let’s get behind our players today and go out and win 2 today!
– Steven Cohen (@ StevenACohen2) August 31, 2021
“Here, I have a lot of respect,” Lindor said. “People are very honest and they let you know.”
Mets fan Will Gregory, 15, said before the game that he wanted Baez to handle the boos with as much grace as Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton.
Gregory, standing with friends near the players’ entrance looking for autographs, said he respected Stanton for recognizing the right of fans to boo.
“He took it very differently, saying we have to be better,” Gregory said. “But you know, we are New Yorkers, and that is how (Báez) will be welcomed if he plays badly. So if he doesn’t want to be bullied, he should play better. “
The entire team, not just Baez and Lindor, were using the gesture, and Rojas said the players had decided to stop the gesture before he headed to the club on Tuesday.