“Mets are gonna Met.” This popular but unfortunate catchphrase has all too often been used to describe the Mets over the past twenty years. That continued this past weekend when three of the Mets players gave a “thumbs down” signal to their fans. The players leading the charge included the recently acquired Javier Baez as well as Francisco Lindor and Kevin Pillar.
Mets’ Fans Aren’t Happy
Why did they boo their own fans? It is no secret that the Mets have had their struggles since Jacob DeGrom went down with a potentially season-ending injury.
Since then, they have fallen from first to third place in their division and the offense has looked lost at times. Playing in New York provides a hard-nosed atmosphere and fans of the team have been booing the players since the team began hitting the rough patch.
After Javier Baez hit a home run in the game yesterday, he flashed a “thumbs down” signal to the crowd and after the game stated that the action was performed because the fans had been booing him before the home run. Was he in the right or did he make a fool out of himself?
The difference between Baez and a paying fan is that he gets paid millions of dollars to play a child’s game. The fans pay money, oftentimes large amounts of money for decent seating, to come watch him and his team play the great game of baseball.
If the team is underperforming, the fans have every right to show their frustrations through booing. Throwing a ball at a player such as the Alex Verduo incident earlier this season is not okay, but booing has been a part of sports for many years and it is certainly allowed.
What made the situation worse is the exact statement that Baez made. He said that the “thumbs down” gesture towards the fans were done to, “let them know how it feels.” The fact that the recently acquired Baez is the one to make this statement makes the situation even worse and lessens the chance of him playing at Citi Field next season.
To put the situation in perspective, New York Yankee legend Derek Jeter once stated that he would boo himself during a stretch in which he was truly struggling. He understood that the fans had the right to boo and instead of participating in a petty gesture towards them, he worked hard at his craft and became a fan favorite in New York and now is enshrined in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
Professional athletes are human and make mistakes. They deal with criticism just like anyone else. But Baez and his teammates need to remember the city in which they play and the expectations for the team.
When you pair that with the team’s recent performance the Met’s fans have every right to make their feelings known at the ballpark. The player’s giving them the “thumbs down” is just an all-around bad look for the organization. Don’t be shocked to see fans either boo even more or boycott future games.