When the New York Mets take the field for the first time on Tuesday following Sunday’s debacle of a press conference starring Javier Baez, the fans are going to be rabid. It’s going to be like the night after Wrestlemania divided by 10—people have to be at work so I don’t expect the crowd to be ruthlessly packed into Citi Field.
We all had a day to cool off, think things through, and hopefully get a little sleep. While all of the water hasn’t gone under the bridge just yet, a day of relentless booing might be the cure for what ails us.
In fact, the perfect story for the Mets to get over the fight between them and the fans is to embrace the boos, get a hit, and pick up a win.
The Mets can move on from the booing with a sweep
This is how I picture the perfect scenario on Tuesday: each time Javier Baez, Francisco Lindor, or Kevin Pillar come up to the plate or even touch the ball, they get booed. It’s like a hockey game whenever a certain person touches the puck.
This doesn’t need to last all game long. In the first at-bats each of them have and every ball hit to them, the thumbs down culprits must experience the jeers they hate so much. The moment they pick up a hit or make a dazzling defensive play, it’s all over. The Mets fans should give them a standing ovation, let them know we do love them, and that’s the end of it all from our perspective.
Then comes the hard part. The players need to react appropriately.
Can we expect them to do so? We wouldn’t be talking about thumbs if the players knew how to behave in the first place. Called out for their actions publicly, maybe a few of them have realized what they did was wrong and they handle things differently when they get back at it.
The moment fans react with applause is the time for the Mets players to give back. A tip of the cap would be nice. A thumb up would be even better. Just one, though. Two thumbs feel a little excessive.
Thereafter, we can put this whole thumb controversy in the past. We can get back to caring about the score of the game and not how much millionaires hate our guts.
There’s also the alternative version of this where fans don’t let up and things get worse. I don’t expect the Mets players to give a thumbs down again. They must know better by now. But the fans, bruised and disrespected, might not be so generous.
It’s quite possible the Mets double up on losses on Tuesday and hear nothing but boos from the hometown fans. Baez, Lindor, and Pillar might receive a cheer when they make an out or bonehead play in the field. The rest of the team, the bystanders in this whole fiasco, shouldn’t hear any of it. Guys like Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, Dominic Smith, etc. should get a genuine reaction. In fact, I would be tempted to cheer them even louder for the constant respect they have shown toward the fans.
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Who knows how Tuesday will go? Will the Mets be treated to a barrage of boos? Will they get the silent treatment? Or maybe we see some genuine love back from players who made it clear they don’t much care for us.