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NY Mets: Boos and thumbs aren’t about tough or soft, it’s right and wrong

Aug 27, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) looks on from the dugout against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 27, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) looks on from the dugout against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
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This might be best narrated by Andy Rooney but what isn’t in top form without his voice loaned to it? The whole New York Mets players booing the fans back with a thumbs down has captivated us all. How could it not? The players directly involved the fans.

I completely get the argument against it. It’s how I feel so there’s no explaining anyone needs to do.

What I don’t understand is why Mets fans have turned to call each other soft for not liking it. The approach feels a little tough-guy-on-the-internet and self-hating. It’s fine to not care if you’re getting booed or thumbed down. What’s not right is to think this is a debate about who is tough and who is not.

Mets players booed the fans back and some seem to think this makes the fans weak

Nobody has a bigger pair of biceps, stronger shoulders, and calf muscles that can crack open a nut than a person on the internet. The distance. The anonymity. The elitism. Is it just me or have things gotten more out of hand lately even outside of the baseball world?

Everyone is entitled to let their freak flag fly on the internet. We all get a chance to express our opinions.

But like guessing fastball when you get a changeup thrown your way, some of them are wrong.

The Mets players vs. the fans has gone from a singles match to a battle royale. It’s now something closer to Mets players vs. Mets fans vs. Mets front office vs. Mets media members vs. other Mets fans. One season-ticket holder is calling another “soft” for not being able to handle a thumbs down from a player.

It was never about the thickness of a person’s skin. From the start, it was about right and wrong.

Mets players chose the wrong path when they decided to boo the fans back

I know some of the players have tried to explain that Javier Baez’s explanation came out wrong. If that were the case, why would the front office double down on an apology? I tend to lean toward the intention behind the thumbs down is exactly what Baez said. It was a way for the players to motivate themselves. What happened to do good days of calling upon the fans for help with this? What happened to 1962-2019?

I believe most Mets fans aren’t hurt by millionaire athletes giving them the thumbs down. Deal with traffic once in New York, even as a passenger, and you can probably tolerate just about anything. New Yorkers are as tough as they come. Those who wag their fingers back at the thumbs down from the players are not soft: they can differentiate right from wrong.

Jerry Seinfeld put it brilliantly. We’re rooting for laundry. The men in it are mostly inconsequential. They come. They go. We forget many of their names. We cheer the clothes when the men in them perform well. The opposite reaction is a boo. That has always been the arrangement. What changed?

The baseball season is long so I can understand why someone like Francisco Lindor might feel the need to clap back. He has stunk from the start. He has continually given fans a Dutch oven with his foul play.

Fans want to love Lindor and they will get the chance to as long he allows it. That shouldn’t be the situation. Players can turn down autograph requests, ignore fans in public, and occasionally say something out of line. What they can’t do is mistreat the fans and tell them they need to be better.

It’s a strange take to side with anyone other than your fellow fans unless you see they are the ones doing the wronging. In this case, the fans didn’t do anything we haven’t seen a million times before.

Next. Mets players shunned the fans rather than connect with them

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This was never about who is tough enough to handle the pressure. This is about how you react to the pressure and premeditating a way to not get better but to say back that hitting around .220 all year is okay. It’s not.

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