Mets infielder Javy Baez expressed disapproval at Mets fans who have taken to jeering the players as their season went off the rails, saying the boo birds "put more pressure on the team."
Powered in part by Baez's 26th home run, the Mets cruised to an easy 9-4 win over the Nationals on Sunday. But when Baez crossed the plate on his 444-foot fourth-inning blast, he flashed two big thumbs down toward the Citi Field crowd.
Shorstop Francisco Lindor and outfielder Kevin Pillar were also spotted giving the thumbs down during the weekend series against the Nationals.
Asked about the curious celebration after the game, Baez said it was a pointed critique of those who have rained down jeers amid the Amazin's summer swoon.
"In my case, they gotta be better," Baez said. "It’s just how I feel. I love the fans, I like playing for the fans, but we can’t have our fans against us.
"It feels bad when I strike out and I 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. ... They’re going to put more pressure on the team."
It's been a bumpy indoctrination, to say the least, to New York for Baez since his acquisition prior to the trade deadline. After homering in his first game in a Mets uniform, he slumped along with much of the rest of the team, including a couple lowlights that left many scratching their heads. He also missed time due to an IL stint.
As he acknowledged on Sunday, he has definitely heard the boos, and apparently he took it personally. He explained why he "booed" them back with the thumbs down.
"To let them know that when we don’t get success, we’re going to get booed. So they’re going to get booed when we get success."