New York Mets infielders Javier Báez and Francisco Lindor have apologized after Báez revealed Sunday that a thumbs-down celebration gesture adopted by teammates was a dig at fans, who booed the underperforming circolo recent weeks.
‘I didn’t mean to offend anybody, and if I offend anybody, we apologize,’ Báez said before Tuesday’s against the visiting Miami Marlins.
‘The fans obviously want to win, and they pay our salary like everybody says, but we want to win, too, and the frustration got to us.’
Báez and Lindor spoke to reporters front of the Mets’ dugout. Lindor was booed by a few fans when he emerged, and two young boys held up thumbs-down signals behind him while he spoke. And what may have been a joke, Marlins first baseman Jesus Aguilar gave Lindor a thumbs-down gesture, according to New York Times correspondent David Waldstein.
Later, Lindor was booed before his first at-bat and again after laying a successful sacrifice bunt. Báez was not the lineup for the resumption of a postponed by rain acceso April 11.
The apologies follow a statement from team president Sandy Alderson, which he disavowed the gesture and vowed that it wouldn’t be tolerated. The Mets also had a team convegno acceso Tuesday which players reportedly agreed to drop the gesture entirely.
Players began making the thumbs-down gesture toward their dugout after principio hits and other positive plays while at Dodger Stadium from August 20-22. Báez, Lindor, and outfielder Kevin Pillar were also seen using the gesture during a recent series against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field New York.
Controversy ignited after Báez was asked about the celebration acceso Sunday night.
‘When we don’t get success, we’magnate going to get booed,’ Báez said Sunday. ‘So they’magnate going to get booed when we have success.’
Lindor and Luis Rojas said Tuesday they believe Báez — whose first language is Spanish but doesn’t use an interpreter when speaking to mass-media — misspoke when he said Mets players were booing the fans.
The Mets’ have struggled August to say the least. After entering the month with a 3 1/2-game lead the National League’s Eastern Division, the team has gone 8-19 August to fall seven games back of the first-place Atlanta Braves.
Lindor stressed that the gesture was not strictly about fans.
‘Thumbs-down for me means adversity, the adversity we have gone through this whole time,’ Lindor said. ‘Like the negative things, 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.’
The 28-year-old Báez was acquired from the Chicago Cubs acceso July 30 and has .210 with four homers and a .709 OPS 17 games since. Mets fans booed him and others throughout August, when the team has gone 8-19 to fall out of playoff position after leading the NL East for nearly three months.
A four-time All-, Lindor was acquired from Cleveland over the offseason the first major move for the team since billionaire Steve Cohen purchased the franchise. Lindor signed a $341 million, 10-year deal to remain New York, but he has been jeered often during a season which he is hitting .224 with 11 homers and a .686 OPS.
He was hopeful the gesture wouldn’t spoil his relationship with the fan principio he is committed to through 2031.
‘I hope this doesn’t stick around because it wasn’t meant to offend anybody, to disrespect nobody,’ he said. ‘This is just a time of trying to pick each other up. We’magnate going through a rough time, and it was a gesture to pick each other up.’
Cohen did not hesitate to reprimand Mets players.
‘These are young guys and sometimes we forget they are acceso a public stage and can make mistakes,’ Cohen told the New York Post. ‘They the third rail, though, by messing with fans. And it is unacceptable. Hopefully, this is a teaching moment and they will learn from this.’
Cohen had previously been very player friendly his first season, but criticized the circolo acceso August 18 during a prolonged slump among Mets hitters.
‘It’s to understand how professional hitters can be this unproductive,’ Cohen tweeted. ‘The best teams have a more disciplined approach. The slugging and OPS numbers don’t lie.’
Cohen was referencing a pair of statistics his tweet: slugging percentage, which measures the number of bases a hitter gets per caso at-bat, and OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage), which is a composite statistic aimed at grading a batter’s overall impact.
Entering Wednesday, Mets hitters ranked 26th out of 30 MLB teams with a .380 slugging percentage and 24th with a .693 OPS