Francisco Lindor, Javy Baez Apologize For Giving Mets The Thumbs-Down

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NEW YORK (AP) — Javier Báez and Francisco Lindor have apologized to Mets followers after Báez revealed {that a} thumbs-down celebration gesture adopted by gamers was partially a dig at New York followers who’ve booed the underperforming ballclub.

Báez and Lindor took turns saying they had been sorry lower than an hour earlier than first pitch of a sport Tuesday in opposition to the Miami Marlins. That adopted a stern assertion from workforce president Sandy Alderson on Sunday evening disavowing the gesture, in addition to a workforce assembly Tuesday wherein gamers stated they might cease making it.

“I didn’t mean to offend anybody,” Báez stated.

The 28-year-old Báez was acquired from the Chicago Cubs on July 30 and has hit .210 with 4 homers and a .709 OPS in 17 video games since. Mets followers booed him and others all through August, when the workforce has gone 8-19 to fall out of playoff place after main the NL East for practically three months.

Players started making the thumbs-down gesture towards their dugout after base hits and different constructive performs whereas at Dodger Stadium from Aug. 20-22.

“When we don’t get success, we’re going to get booed,” Báez defined Sunday. “So they’re going to get booed when we have success.”

Lindor and supervisor Luis Rojas stated Tuesday they consider Báez — whose first language is Spanish however doesn’t use an interpreter when talking to media — misspoke when he stated Mets gamers had been booing the followers.

“I didn’t say the fans are bad, I love the fans, but like, I just felt like we were alone,” Báez stated Tuesday. “The fans obviously want to win, and they pay our salary like everybody says, but like, we want to win, too, and the frustration got to us. And, you know, I didn’t mean to offend anybody, and if I offend anybody, we apologize.”

Lindor additionally stated the gesture was not explicitly about followers.

“Thumbs down for me means adversity, the adversity we have gone through in this whole time,” Lindor stated. “Like the destructive issues, we overcome it, so it’s like, ‘We did it! We went over it!’

“However, it was wrong, and I apologize to whoever I offended. It was not my intent to offend people.”

Báez and Lindor spoke to reporters in entrance of the Mets’ dugout. Lindor was booed by just a few followers when he emerged, and two younger boys held up thumbs-down indicators behind him whereas he spoke. After Báez concluded his apology, one fan shouted to him “Javy, we just want to win, bro!”

Lindor was booed earlier than his first at-bat and once more after laying down a profitable sacrifice bunt. Báez was not within the lineup for the resumption of a sport postponed by rain on April 11.

The Mets aren’t the one membership taking exception to home-cooked ridicule. Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco complained final week about booing from followers in Pittsburgh a few days earlier than being released by the workforce.

“They have to understand that I’m a human being, too,” he stated.

Of course, New York is its personal beast. Players and coaches count on that underperforming stars within the Big Apple will hear about it from followers.

“Here, I have a lot of respect,” Lindor stated. “People are very honest and they let you know.”

Mets fan Will Gregory, 15, stated earlier than the sport that he wished Báez dealt with the boos with as a lot grace as Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Gregory — standing with mates close to the gamers’ entrance in search of autographs — stated he revered Stanton for acknowledging the followers’ proper to boo.

“He took it a lot differently, saying that, ‘We need to be better,’” Gregory stated. “But you know, we’re New Yorkers, and that’s how (Báez) is going to be received if he plays bad. So, if he doesn’t want to get booed, he should just play better.”

The complete workforce — not simply Báez and Lindor — was utilizing the gesture, and Rojas stated the gamers had determined to cease earlier than he addressed the membership Tuesday.

Outfielder Kevin Pillar — additionally in his first season with the workforce — tweeted Sunday that he’s “felt nothing but love in NYC” and that “No I’m not booing the fans.”

“Please don’t look to much into this,” he wrote.

“Media always searching for anything to cause controversy,” replied pitcher Marcus Stroman. “Stop playing into these narratives.”

Rojas stated he didn’t know the which means of the thumbs-down gesture till Báez’s feedback Sunday.

“We’re being accountable for some of those decisions and that’s what I see in this group,” the supervisor stated. “This is a gaggle of fellows that I believe is accountable for his or her actions.

“We have leaders in there that have explained how the media, the fans, everything is here,” he added. “And myself, I have always told the guys how accountable we’ve got to be.”

A four-time All-Star, Lindor was acquired from Cleveland over the offseason within the first main transfer for the workforce since Steve Cohen bought the franchise. Lindor signed a $341 million, 10-year deal to stay in New York, however he has been jeered typically throughout a season wherein he’s hitting .224 with 11 homers and a .686 OPS.

He was hopeful the gesture wouldn’t spoil his relationship with the fan base he’s dedicated to by means of 2031.

“I hope this doesn’t stick around because it wasn’t meant to offend anybody, to disrespect nobody,” he stated. “This is just a time of trying to pick each other up. We’re going through a rough time, and it was a gesture to pick each other up.”

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