The New York Mets are currently third in the NL East Division, and second baseman Javier Baez’s 444-foot home run last night was a major highlight in their 9-4 victory over the Washington Nationals. However, the electrifying slugger wasn’t a hit with Citi Field fans after his celebration: Baez rounded the bases and pointed two thumbs down as he crossed home plate.
The Mets started the 2021 season promisingly but have since watched their playoff hopes dwindle, and they only have a 2.2% chance of making the postseason now. But Baez decided that very positive moment was also the right time for his public display of grievances.
“It feels bad when I strike out and I get booed. It doesn’t really get to me, but I want to let them know that when we have success, we’re going to do the same thing, to let [fans] know how it feels,” he told reporters postgame. “…They got to be better. I play for the fans and love the fans. If they’re going to do that, they’re going to put more pressure on the team.”
New York is a notoriously tough sports town, and the Mets have not won the World Series in three-and-a-half decades despite an estimated value of $2.45 billion. Fellow Metropolitans Francisco Lindor and Kevin Pillar also joined Baez in “thumbs down” celebrations of their own. But one major Met gave the whole “thumbs down” a huge thumbs down of his own – president Sandy Alderson.
“Mets fans are understandably frustrated over the team’s recent performance,” Alderson said in a lengthy statement about the incident. “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.”
Alderson continued, “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.” The Mets Twitter page also posted a photo of former pitcher Frank “Tug” McGraw Jr. with the hashtag, “YaGottaBelieve” and a “thumbs up” pose.
Earlier this month, The Athletic ran an article suggesting Mets fans would love Baez for “unapologetically being himself.” And based on existing video, the Mets have been engaging in the “thumbs down” performance for some time. But it now looks like Baez being Baez has now sparked a thumb war with Alderson and the Mets faithful.
Take a look at some of the reactions from Mets fans as well as Kevin Pillar’s two cents on the whole situation.
Twitter Reacts To Javier Baez Booing Fans
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Love y’all too! Felt nothing but love in NYC. No I’m not booing the fans. We are having fun. No different than earlier this year when we were churving 👌🏽. please don’t look to much into this. https://t.co/0jwnnN8mZ1— Kevin Pillar (@KPILLAR4) August 29, 2021
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A statement on behalf of Mets fans to Mets players: pic.twitter.com/8YAm3blXk7— Tim Reilly (@LifeOfTimReilly) August 30, 2021
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The Mets need to perform better and not worry about the approval of the fans. Mets fans are very loyal, considering. https://t.co/PVioDsnMwc— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 29, 2021
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Many are calling Baez "soft" but I think it's the opposite. It takes huge, homerun 🍎 sized balls to do and say this. Many won't like it including myself. But it's genuine to him and I respect it. Not what I want to hear. IMHO it's an unnecessary distraction. https://t.co/95oB9jiuzz— Jerry Blevins (@jerryblevins) August 29, 2021
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The Mets have literally been doing this for weeks but it's now starting WWIII after today https://t.co/LTtrLpoDjd— Mike (@mike5_5_5) August 30, 2021
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To Javy Baez’s credit, Mets fans vs. the Mets is one of the greatest rivalries in sports.— Ted Berg (@OGTedBerg) August 29, 2021
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Javy Baez: Fans need to stop booing me.— Scotty G (@DarthRedsCBJ) August 30, 2021
Also Javy Baez: pic.twitter.com/G3xUpdMbWg
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"They've got to be better," Javier Báez said of the Mets' fan base.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) August 29, 2021
His full comments on the team deciding to "boo" back at fans: pic.twitter.com/EgoMXhzZcD
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Daniel Jones is nearly picked off on third down.— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) August 29, 2021
I heard a few boos. I hope Javy Baez is OK.
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So Yankees fans are sick of Rizzo & Mets fans are sick of Báez.— Cubs Zone ™️ (@CubsZone) August 29, 2021
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The fact that Javier Baez just keeps pissing off Mets fans just makes me love him more.— Josh Timmers (@JoshFTimmers) August 30, 2021
NY Mets’ Javier Baez Boos Own Fans After Huge Home Run, Twitter Reacts was originally published on cassiuslife.com