After the Mets’ 6-2 loss to the Brewers, Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom was ripped for his performance (he gave up 6 runs in 6 2/3 innings) and for his ability to be bothered by the U.S. Open trophy (he was sipping water between pitches). The former is particularly disheartening, because deGrom, who has won the NL Rookie of the Year award in each of his three full seasons, is one of the most underrated pitchers in the game. The latter, however, was a bit more understandable, since he was a bit distracted by his time on the stage.
The Mets’ controversial “thumbs-down” gesture during the seventh-inning stretch at Citi Field has become the most talked about story so far of the 2017 MLB season. But, of course, it wasn’t the first of its kind. At the 2016 All-Star Game in San Diego, the Giants took to the field with their middle fingers extended. The Dodgers had also done it earlier that season. Even the Red Sox, after the Boston Marathon bombings, took to the field with their middle fingers extended.
Francisco Lindor, the shortstop for the New York Mets, was probably aware that attending the U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows on Monday would expose him to further criticism, especially after the “thumbs-down” incident. He had no option but to put on a brave face and sign autographs after people advised him to be more upbeat in the future. After all, both Sandy Alderson, the Mets’ head of basketball operations, and owner Steve Cohen basically insisted that Lindor and his colleagues alter their ways.
The Mets’ “thumbs-down” celebration sparked controversy both outside and within the team.
The Mets claim to be all about positive, yet anybody who questions them or points out a fault is a hater. Regarding the world’s most sensitive team, as well as players who feel they are entitled to your admiration: https://t.co/BO4FoWSOXS
30 August 2021 — Tyler Kepner (@TylerKepner)
In recent games, several Mets players have given a thumbs-down in response to huge hits. What was the source of the celebration’s inspiration? The move, as Mets infielder Javier Baez later explained on Sunday, was intended as a message to the fans.
According to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times, Baez stated, “Just the booing that we receive.” “We’re not robots; we’re going to have a hard time. Seven times out of ten, we’re going to suffer. It simply hurts when I strike out and get booed — it doesn’t bother me — but I want to let them know that if we’re successful, we’ll do the same thing to let them know how it feels…”
Baez’s remark sparked a firestorm of debate. Many fans, commentators, and the media were irritated by the Mets’ seeming entitlement. When Alderson made a statement calling the thumbs-down celebrations “inappropriate,” it turned into a full-fledged disaster.
According to the New York Times, Alderson said, “Mets supporters are justifiably upset about the team’s recent performance.” “While the players and the organization are both unhappy, Citi Field fans have every right to voice their dissatisfaction. Every fan has the right to boo. The Mets will not allow any player gesture that is disrespectful to our supporters or has a negative connotation. I’ll be visiting with our players and staff to personally deliver this message.”
After signing a $341 million contract this past winter, Francisco Lindor was among the Mets players who received a thumbs-down. He has been criticized throughout a difficult season. Mr. Smile, on the other hand, had to swallow his pride and live up to his moniker at the US Open on Monday.
Francisco Lindor entertained fans during the US Open, despite facing a barrage of criticism.
A buddy sent me this video: Today at the US Open, Francisco Lindor was signing autographs, and one Mets fan advised, “Thumbs-up from now on.”
Lindor grinned and gave a thumbs-up in return. pic.twitter.com/2zx5uLQwou
30 August 2021 — Tim Healey (@timbhealey)
At the U.S. Open tennis event at Flushing Meadows, Francisco Lindor signed autographs for fans. After supporters yelled, “no more thumbs-down,” he awkwardly flashed a thumbs-up.
Mr. Smile entertained the fans, despite the fact that it did not seem to be a real moment.
After Alderson’s remark, the 27-year-old didn’t have much of a choice. He also wouldn’t want to make a show of himself by reacting badly. Nonetheless, Lindor’s debut season in Queens has not been pleasant.
Lindor was hitting.224 with a.686 OPS heading into Tuesday’s game. When the Mets signed the dynamic shortstop to a 10-year, $341 million contract that starts next season, fans weren’t expecting those kinds of figures. With a strained oblique, he also missed a significant period of time.
The two-time Gold Glover is putting up outstanding defensive numbers. According to Baseball Savant, he has the second most outs over average in baseball. Lindor’s troubles at the bat, on the other hand, mirror the Mets’ offensive woes this season, which have loomed big in the team’s recent collapse.
After dominating the division for most of the season, New York is still struggling.
Even if it exactly reflects their dreadful season, Lindor and the Mets will not be allowed to give it a thumbs down | Elsa/Getty Images
On April 14, the Mets seized the lead in the National League East for the first time. For the following few months, they either shared the lead or held exclusive possession of first place, and they headed into August with a four-game advantage.
New York was 7.5 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves before Tuesday’s game. The Mets are still 8-19 in August, after winning each of their past two games.
Earlier in the season, the playoffs seemed to be a foregone conclusion. October baseball has suddenly become little more than a dream. What went wrong?
There’s a lot going on. The Mets are still unable to score, ranking 29th out of 30 teams in runs per game. The rotation is also in good condition. Following a strong first half, Taijuan Walker has regressed, recording a 6.81 ERA in eight starts after the All-Star break. Carlos Carrasco has a 6.94 ERA in six starts since making his 2021 debut at the end of July, but that is mainly due to two terrible outings. Jacob deGrom is still sidelined, and Carlos Carrasco has a 6.94 ERA in six starts since making his 2021 debut at the end of July.
For a long time, frustration has been brewing in Queens. The “thumbs-down” may have served as a kind of self-motivation for Mets players. But, as U.S. Open fans reminded him on Monday, supporters would only take a thumbs-up from Francisco Lindor and others.
Unless otherwise stated, all stats are courtesy of Baseball Reference.
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