Javy Baez probably thought apologizing for his "thumbs down" gesture aimed at New York Mets fans would help smooth things over. Nope. But damn did he make up for it in the end.
As Baez stepped to the plate for the first time on Tuesday -- as a pinch hitter in the eighth -- the fans at Citi Field greeted him the best way they knew how: with unanimous boos and their own thumbs down taunts.
It wasn't a big crowd, but it was certainly united in spite. Baez's apology for the thumbs down gesture aimed at fans rang hollow when he issued it earlier on Tuesday. It felt like a play to help his impending free agency instead of a sincere act of contrition. Mets fans seemed to feel the same way.
As if to make things worse, New York was getting smoked by the Miami Marlins 5-1 as the eighth inning closed. But here's the thing, the game wasn't over and Baez was going to get another chance.
In the bottom of the ninth, Brandon Nimmo hit a two-run home rune with one out to cut the lead to 5-3. After a Francisco Lindor lineout, Dominic Smith reached on an infield single and Pete Alonso doubled to left. That put runners on second and third with two outs for Baez. The 28-year-old beat out an infield chopper to the shortstop, scoring Smith.
With the score 5-4 and two outs, Alonso on third and Baez on first, Michael Conforto stepped to the plate. Here's what happened:
Yes, Baez scored from first base on a single to left to win the game after Mets fans nearly booed him out of the building. He also apparently lost a lot of diamonds in the celebration.
How can you not be romantic about baseball?