One New York Mets player has had enough of the fans booing him. On Sunday, Javier Baez did a thumbs-down gesture to the fans at CitiField. After the Mets' 9-4 win over the Washington Nationals, Baez spoke to the media explaining why he gave the gesture.
"We're not machines," Baez said, per ESPN. "We're going to struggle seven times out of 10. It just feels bad when ... I strike out and get booed. It doesn't really get to me, but I want to let them know that when we're successful, we're going to do the same thing to let them know how it feels." The Mets traded for Baez from the Chicago Cubs before the trade deadline to give them a spark during a divisional race. Since the trade deadline, the Mets have a 9-20 record and went from first in the NL East to third, leading to fans booing the players.
Javy Báez said the Mets' new thumbs down celebration is a response to fans booing the team.
"We're not machines, we're going to struggle. ... It just feels bad when I strikeout and I get booed. ... We're going to do the same thing to let them know how it feels," he said. pic.twitter.com/CYkHVpE2KH— Deesha (@DeeshaThosar) August 29, 2021
"If we win together, then we got to lose together, and the fans are a really big part of it," Baez continued. "In my case, they got to be better. I play for the fans and I love the fans, but if they're going to do that, they're just putting more pressure on the team, and that's not what we want." Due to the incident, Mets president Sandy Alderson released a statement condemning Baez for his actions.
"These comments, and any gestures by him or other players with a similar intent, are totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated," Alderson said. "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 manager Miguel Rojas said Baez just needs to get used to the boos since it's common for Mets fans. "Getting to know Javy more and more every day, he's an outstanding kid to be around," Rojas said. "Javy being a new guy around here, getting to know our fan base. Some of the reaction that our fan base has, you see it's something he's learning. Our fans are like that; our fans are very passionate. They're going to demand the best out of everyone here."