Mets Praise Fans During Win


The funniest thing about the Mets is the devout self-image of the players. Again and again, they emphasize that it’s all about positivity – and if you doubt them or point out a flaw, you’ll hate it. They believe they deserve to be praised regardless of their performance.

“Mets fans: Believe us and don’t just believe it, you know,” said Pete Alonso, after the Mets fell from #1 three weeks ago. “Just smile and know we get it.”

Often the fans play together; They want to believe in Alonso and his talented teammates. But now it’s gotten personal, and with the aggrieved attitude that infested this Mets squad, it was almost inevitable.

On Sunday, the Mets scored a goal. 9-4 Winning a sick Washington Nationals team ravaged by trades. He scored a series of victories against the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants after a 2-11 stretch exposing them as copycats. They’re about to miss the playoffs for the fifth season in a row.

But beating the Nationals made the Mets proud. They even got so cocky that some players, including Javier Baez, Francisco Lindor, and Kevin Pillar, decided to teach these bad fans a lesson with thumbs-down gestures to customers at Citi Field.

What did it mean? Baez explained it this way during his virtual press conference after the game:

“It’s just the boobs we’ve taken,” said Baez, who returned home on Sunday and is now .210 as the Met. “We are not machines, we will struggle. We will fight seven times out of 10. I feel bad when I’m hit and booed – it’s none of my business, but when we’re successful, I want to let them know. He will do the same, tell them how it feels.

“Because if we win together we have to lose together and the fans are a really big part of that. In my case, they have to be better. I play for the fans and I love the fans but if they’re going to do that, they put more pressure on the team and that’s not what we want.”

Was that a thumbs down for fans then?

“Yeah, I mean, to let them know that we’re going to be booed if we don’t succeed, so I mean they’re going to be booed when we’re successful.”

Baez later reiterated that he loves fans, but said that “we can’t hold our fans against us.”

On a few points Baez was right: It’s very hard to hit, as he knows. He was ranked 109th in base percentage with 0.269 among 110 major league players who played at least 600 plate matches in the last two seasons until Saturday. And players are not actually machines.

But not the fans. They boo because they want to cheer up and expect better. Is it inefficient as Baez suggested? Certainly. Do fans (or the news media for that matter) really understand how hard it is to succeed in majors? No way.

But the big leagues, especially in tough markets like New York, have to accept this as an implicit part of the deal. Major league tickets are expensive and major league salaries are generous. If a team has held the top spot for almost three months and suddenly finds itself 63-67 like the Mets, the occasional boos should be expected.

“Mets fans, New York fans, this Sunday, this city probably knows more about baseball than any other city,” said manager Luis Rojas. “They have the right to react however they want. And we need to understand where they come from.”

Lindor in particular doesn’t seem to understand. The four-time All-Star was loved in Cleveland and said, “Mr. Smile” and led his team to the World Series. To stay in Cleveland, he needed a contract extension below market value. This was not happening, so Lindor Traded to New York in January short stop for four players including Amed Rosario.

The Mets’ new owner, Steven Cohen, soon 10-year, $341 million contract Lindor responding with worst season – .224 average and .686 base plus slowdown percentage. Meanwhile, Rosario hits .283 with .733 OPS

Fans were booing Lindor before April was over, and while he said he understood, he also called it “interesting” and noted that he had never been booed in Cleveland. A week or so later, after arguing with teammate Jeff McNeil in a bunker tunnel, Lindor crafted a bizarre story about a rat or perhaps a raccoon that caught their attention.

He could easily – and understandably – throw the question aside; Derek Jeter has made it an art form to politely deflect questions he doesn’t want to answer, as if he’s disrupting the field to find a question he can tackle. But when Lindor chose a blatant misdirection game, even for humorous purposes, it was perhaps an early sign that he had misread his new setting.

As his friend Baez put it, effectively booing fans on Sunday only confirms this.

Sandy Alderson, president of the Mets, tried to contain the damage Sunday night. to publish reports Referring to Baez and saying that “any action by him or any other player with a similar intent is absolutely unacceptable and will not be tolerated”.

Alderson added: “Mets fans are understandably frustrated by the team’s recent performance. Players and organization were equally frustrated, but Citi Field fans have every right to express their disappointment. Booing is every fan’s right. The Mets will not tolerate any player action that is unprofessional in its meaning or that is negatively directed towards our fans. I will be meeting with our players and staff to deliver this message directly.”

Lindor has a full decade to absorb this message and apply the other lessons he’s now learned. Baez – a top potential from the Chicago Cubs, a poorly conceived loan in a trade for outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong – will be a free agent this fall, like Pillar.

Column (who shoots .212) He downplayed the issue on Twitter.claimed that the team did not boo the fans and were just having fun. He also disrespectfully responded to a user who scolded him for not respecting his fans, adding the hashtag #poopootake, a favorite phrase of pitcher Marcus Stroman, who sells the hat with the slogan for $35 on the clothing company’s website.

Stroman retweeted Pillar. Later, pitcher Taijuan Walker retweeted Stroman’s response to Pillar, saying that Stroman – wait – uploaded the whole thing to the media. Even if there was a misunderstanding, no one used the forum to apologize.

Being as sensitive as the Mets players seem must be exhausting. Cohen, for one, all but sighed for his oath. He discovered that spending nearly $200 million on a baseball squad doesn’t guarantee a title, a winning record, or even a relaxing Sunday evening after a win.

“I miss the days when the biggest controversy was black jerseys,” he wrote.


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