Javier Baez, Francisco Lindor apologize to Mets fans for ‘thumbs down’
The New York Mets have been taunting their own fans after big hits recently, and it should come as no surprise that some players have decided to apologize.
Javier Baez told reporters following New York’s win over the Washington Nationals on Sunday that the team’s “thumbs down” celebration after big hits is a way of booing back at the fans. Naturally, that did not go over well. Prior to the Mets’ double-header against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday, Baez issued an apology.
“I didn’t mean to offend anybody,” he said, via Newsday’s Tim Healey. “If I offended anybody, we apologize.”
Francisco Lindor expressed regret, too.
“I apologize to whoever was offended. It was not my intent to offend people,” the shortstop said. “I can’t go against the fans. I have never done that in my career.”
Baez also tweeted a message to Mets fans.
— Javier Báez (@javy23baez) August 31, 2021
The apologies may not be universally accepted. Healey later noted that Lindor was greeted with a “mix of boos and cheers” during his first at-bat on Tuesday.
The Mets have been horrible in August and have fallen out of playoff contention. Baez is hitting barely over .200 since New York acquired him at the trade deadline. Lindor has hit just .224 in 93 games. Those numbers are worthy of boos, which is why a Mets executive publicly scolded the team over the thumbs down gesture. Team owner Steve Cohen also said Tuesday that he was happy the players apologized.
Marcus Stroman tried to blame the media for blowing the thumbs down celebration out of proportion, but Baez should have never let the secret out. If the Mets want to draw motivation from their fans booing them, they’d be wise to keep that to themselves.