Another month and another story about the New York Mets and their dysfunction.
This time, it has to do with Met players booing their own fans after success in retaliation for being booed for their poor play.
Javier Baez hit a home run in Sunday’s 9-4 win over the Washington Nationals. Baez, who was traded to the Mets from the Chicago Cubs on July 31, has played just 17 games as Met.
When he crossed home plate, he gave a thumbs down salute and was asked about it in his post-game press conference on Sunday.
Baez explained that the gesture is to the Met fans for booing them this year.
“To let the fans know when you don’t get the success, you get booed, so they are going to get booed when we have success,” Baez told reporters on Sunday.
He wasn’t the only Met seen making the gesture. Francisco Lindor and Kevin Pillar were seen doing it as well.
There have been a lot of things that have happened to the Mets this year. We don’t need to hash through them all, but from the Jared Porter situation to the Kumar Rocker fiasco to the booing of their own fans, the 2021 season has looked similar to ones of the past.
However, this latest incident proves that Mets manager Luis Rojas cannot continue in that role. Heck, if I were in charge, I wouldn’t let him manage the game on Tuesday. I know Rojas completely denied knowing that Baez’s gesture on Sunday was negative towards the fans. The fact that he didn’t know is a major problem.
As a manager, you are the boss of the clubhouse. You should know everything that is going on. It would be best if you understood the vibe that is in your clubhouse. If the players are getting frustrated with the fans booing to the point that they will rally against them, the manager should throw water on that fire.
You should also know that it would blow up and cause a major fiasco if it ever got out to the public. You need to have some foresight.
If you don’t know any of that, that’s a major concern. Rojas is supposed to be the authoritative figure in the room. He’s the one who should be the voice of the clubhouse and who the players look to for a reason. It is supposed to be his team.
In this case, Rojas either didn’t do his job, or he is completely on board with the players booing their fanbase. Either one of those two scenarios should mean the end of Rojas’ tenure as the New York Mets manager.
And it doesn’t just end there.
This entire season it has seemed like the players have had little care about their poor play. Think about it this way; the Mets lost 13.5 games to the Atlanta Braves last month. 13.5 games! And their superstars, including their shortstop, who they just signed to a ten-year contract, are mad about the fans booing the team. There’s something wrong with that.
Understandably, a 20-something-year-old millionaire can’t understand the grasp of what it feels like to be a fan. Their entire lives have been filled with people kissing rear-ends because of their athletic ability, whether it’s been in little league, high school, college, or the pros. If you’re a great player, people have done whatever was needed to make sure you were as happy as possible at every level.
However, the manager should be the one who tells the players like it is. He should eliminate any potential distractions for his team. If a player is frustrated with his own fans to the point where they will all get on board with creating a gesture like that, the manager should know about it. I get that no manager is perfect, but with all of the Mets’ problems this year, another distraction is the last thing this club needed.
Instead, Rojas has let a losing mentality fester inside his clubhouse. There’s no question; it has aided in his team’s collapse. Here’s another reason why Rojas should be terminated.
It’s pathetic that a statement from the team’s General Manager is the only glimpse of frustration within the organization about the epic meltdown that has occurred this year. If you go to Twitter, many Met players are acting as if the team is in first place riding an 11-game win streak. They act as if they don’t care about the team’s record and more about their individual achievements and highlights.
Even Pete Alonso, who has been far and away from the Mets’ best offensive player this season, seemed to care more about his Home Run Derby performance than he did about his own team’s season falling apart. Can you imagine if he had a tough home run derby and someone walked up to him and said, “smile, Pete, you’re playing baseball?” I’d love to see his reaction.
This all falls on the manager.
There comes a time when you have to take this job seriously, and the team’s boss is supposed to ensure that everyone is on board with the goal, that goal being a World Series title.
If you have paid any attention to this team in 2021, it’s clear the majority of the players on this team are not on board with that goal. Rojas has failed to have the team mentality prepared for a pennant race, and it shows.
Forget his in-game strategy and the lineup construction, both of which have been questionable at best this season. Any manager can be criticized for their in-game strategy. The worst managers are the ones who have talented teams and can’t get them to perform. The worst managers are the ones whose teams have a poor mentality and poor attitude.
It’s clear; it’s time to move on from Luis Rojas. Every day he continues as the team manager, the problems inside the clubhouse get worse and worse.
Right now, it seems that it can’t get any worse; however, if you are a Met fan, you know, it can always get worse. It’s just another reason to end the Luis Rojas experiment.
Featured Image: Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports