Certain Mets players, specifically the ones who have underperformed for the team that is arguably the biggest disappointment in MLB this season, have decided to push back against their meanie fans. They’re poking a bear that I’m not sure they want to poke.
Your Feelings Don’t Matter. Most of the Time.
I hate the “Don’t like it? Play better.” logic. Despise it. That’s the automatic response nowadays whenever a player/manager takes exception to another player’s showboating or unwritten rule-breaking. To me, it’s not about playing better to counteract something you don’t like, it’s about where you draw the line for celebrations, retributions, etc., because there has to be a line somewhere. You can’t apply the “Don’t like it? Play better.” logic universally, because it simply doesn’t make sense. That’s become the norm, however, as performing well on the baseball field seems to give you the right to do, like, anything you want.
There seems to be a caveat to this “Don’t like it? Play better.” rule, though. Mets players like Javy Baez and Francisco Lindor revealed as much this past weekend. “Don’t like it? Play better.” legislation does not cover booing fans. In instances when fans express their displeasure with a player’s performance, feelings matter a great deal. Hence, why Baez and Lindor can mockingly give the fans a thumbs down and drop quotes like the one below (given by Baez).
“It just 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 (have) success, we’re going to do the same thing, to let them know how it feels. Because if we win together, we’ve got to lose together. The fans are a really big part of it. In my case, they’ve got to be better. I play for the fans, I love the fans, but if they’re gonna do that, they’re just putting more pressure on the team and that’s not what we want.”
Buddy. You really think that’s gonna make them stop? That’s not how this works.
Part of the Game. For Better or Worse.
Booing will always be part of professional sports. If Baez, Lindor, or any other player can’t handle Mets fans giving them an earful as they scuffle their way to 78 wins, maybe New York isn’t the right market for them. Baez and Lindor were beloved in the organizations they came from, but Mets fans don’t owe them anything. All they’ve done for the Mets is underachieve. Fans have every right to boo.
Does it feel good? No, of course not. But the fans pay their salaries; they’re the reason all of this exists. As long as they don’t cross the line by making it personal or hurling slurs at players or something, they can absolutely be boo birds.
Mets fans don’t have to “be better.” Mets players do.
Don’t like it??? pLaY beTteR, bRo!!!