Steve Cohen on Mets players taking on the fans: 'It is unacceptable'

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Steve Cohen talks to media at Nationals Park
Steve Cohen talks to media at Nationals Park

Mets infielder Javier Baez ignited a Mets players vs. Mets fans situation after Sunday's win when he said that the players' "thumbs down" celebration is a reaction to fans who have been booing.

"Just the boos that we get," Baez said about what the "thumbs down" celebration was in response to. "We're not machines, we're going to struggle. We're going to struggle seven times out of ten. 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 we're going to do the same thing to let them know how it feels.

"If we win together, then we're going to lose together and the fans are a really big part of it. In my case, they gotta be better. I play for the fans and I love the fans, but if they're going to do that, they're just putting more pressure on the team and that's not what we want."

On Monday, Mets owner Steve Cohen responded to the players' actions.

“These are young guys and sometimes we forget they are on a public stage and can make mistakes,” Cohen told Joel Sherman of The New York Post. “They hit the third rail, though, by messing with fans. And it is unacceptable. Hopefully, this is a teaching moment and they will learn from this.”

On Sunday night, team president Sandy Alderson released a statement about the situation:

In a post-game press conference today, Javy Baez stated that his “thumbs down” gesture during the game was a message to fans who recently have booed him and other players for poor performance. These comments, and any gestures by him or other players with a similar intent, are totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

Mets fans are understandably frustrated over the team’s recent performance. The players and the organization are equally frustrated, but fans at Citi Field have every right to express their own disappointment. Booing is every fan’s right.

The Mets will not tolerate any player gesture that is unprofessional in its meaning or is directed in a negative way toward our fans. I will be meeting with our players and staff to convey this message directly.

Mets fans are loyal, passionate, knowledgeable and more than willing to express themselves. We love them for every one of these qualities.