New York Mets players are reversing course after giving a thumbs down gesture during Sunday's game. Javier Baez and Francisco Lindor apologized Tuesday after making thumbs down gestures as a way to get back at the team's fanbase.
Baez apologized Tuesday if the "celebration" offended anyone.
Javier Báez on his comments from Sunday afternoon: "I didn't mean to offend anybody. And if I offended anybody, we apologize."
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) August 31, 2021
Baez also tweeted about the situation, telling Mets fans, "We just need to stay together."
— Javier Báez (@javy23baez) August 31, 2021
Francisco Lindor also apologized, saying, "We can't go against the fans."
"It was wrong and I apologize to whoever I offended. It was not my intent to offend people, we can't go against the fans."
- Francisco Lindor on the thumbs down pic.twitter.com/TAMWjSf9v5
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 31, 2021
Outfielder Kevin Pillar also reportedly made the thumbs down signal during Sunday's game, but did not apologize prior to Tuesday's game.
Baez and Lindor have faced the brunt of the criticism for the gestures. Lindor signed a 10-year, $341 million extension with the club in March. Both Baez and Pillar will be free agents at the end of the 2021 season.
On Sunday, ESPN's Buster Olney said Baez may have hurt his free-agent chances with the gesture.
It’s impossible to think of another prospective free agent making a bigger public relations mistake then Javier Baez did today. Burned one bridge, and likely severely damaged his chances w other teams. Francisco Lindor needs to prepare an explanation for his participation, too.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) August 30, 2021
Olney also called for Lindor to "prepare an explanation." Olney made no mention of Pillar, or possible fallout he could face, in the tweet.
Mets players gave thumbs down to get back at Mets fans
The team's "celebration" was noticed during Sunday's game — a 9-4 win over the Washington Nationals. Following the contest, Baez was asked about the gesture. He said it was the team's way of booing the fans when the team experienced success. Baez and other players were frustrated they were getting booed during the team's struggles in August. The Mets opened the month in first place in the NL East. When the month ends, they will sit in third.
The Mets have ground to cover if they hope to make a playoff charge in September. The team entered Tuesday 6.5 games out of a wild-card spot in the National League and 7 games out of the division lead in the NL East.