The New York Mets keep making headlines for the wrong reasons. During Sunday’s victory against the Philadelphia Phillies, Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, and Kevin Pillar used a thumbs down celebration every time they made a good play.
Most people thought, at first, that it was a joke, like the 2017 Yankees. But after the game, Baez talked to the media and made a baffling revelation: “[It’s] to let [fans] know when we don’t have success we are going to get booed, so they are going to get booed when we have success.”
Javy Báez rips a leadoff single to start off the 2nd
(it also appears there's a new dugout celebration, the 👎) pic.twitter.com/uycecfFHHr
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 6, 2021
Even if it’s understandable that players are frustrated by the lack of results and by hearing constant boos from their own fans, it’s certainly surprising that they decided to start a silent war with Mets’ fans. It’s not an ideal situation, especially for Lindor, who will be in New York for at least 10 more years unless he is traded.
The Mets are 8-19 in August and relinquished the first place of the NL East division, one that they held for months, a few weeks ago. They are currently in a very delicate situation, and making the playoffs is a pipe dream at this point.
The Mets released a controversial statement
Mets’ president Sandy Alderson released a statement on Sunday night condemning the thumbs down sign.
Here is his message:
“In a post-game press conference today, Javy Baez stated that his “thumbs down” gesture during the game was a message to fans who recently have booed him and other players for poor performance. These comments, and any gestures by him or other players with a similar intent, are totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
“Mets fans are understandably frustrated over the team’s recent performance. The players and the organization are equally frustrated, but fans at Citi Field have every right to express their own disappointment. Booing is every fan’s right.
“The Mets will not tolerate any player gesture that is unprofessional in its meaning or is directed in a negative way toward our fans. I will be meeting with our players and staff to convey this message directly.
“Mets fans are loyal, passionate, knowledgeable and more than willing to express themselves. We love them for every one of these qualities.”
Tensions are boiling in New York.