Nobody ever wants to be booed but that is exactly what happened to Detroit Tigers SS Javier Baez on Friday night at Comerica Park after he struck out for what seems like the millionth time this season.
On Saturday, Baez was asked about the booing that rained down on him from his home fans and he acknowledged that everybody, including himself, is frustrated with the way he is playing right now.
“I got no comments on that,” Báez said Saturday. “I'm just going to go out there, be myself and play hard. It's obviously frustrating for us when we struggle. It's frustrating for them, too, when they want to see you do good, but we're struggling. It's part of it. Sometimes we're down on ourselves, but it's not about that. It's about coming the next day and being better.”
Javier Baez was “a little bit more focused” on Saturday
A day after being booed by the fans at Comerica Park, Baez bounced back by picking up a hit and three walks on Saturday against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Following the game, Baez told reporters that he was a “little more focused” and he saw the ball pretty good.
“I can finally say I saw the ball pretty good today,” Báez said. “I was a little bit more focused, just seeing the ball more deep in the zone. I know I can get to any fastball. I was on the fastball today, and I got (the ball) closer to me. I just got to make them throw strikes.”
“I was just more focused on the offensive side,” Báez said.
Baez knows that when he is getting on base that it is a good thing for the Tigers because it puts pressure on opposing pitchers.
“I feel every time I get on base, it changes they way they see, they got to pitch to the next guy and worry about me on the bases,” Báez said. “As long as I keep getting on base, it will be helpful for the team.”
Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said Baez should be happy with how he played on Saturday against the Blue Jays.
“I'm proud of Javy for staying with it, including that last at-bat,” Hinch said. “Once he had the two walks and the hit, it's very easy for a player to go back to old ways and try to get a little greedy and pull the ball for a homer. He got that third walk. He should be happy today.”
Despite his (and his team's) struggles so far in 2022, Baez knows that when everything clicks, it is going to be a lot of fun down at Comerica Park.
“It's going to be fun when everything clicks,” said Báez, who signed a six-year, $140 million contract in December. “The pitching, the offense, the base running, the outfield, the infield, when everything clicks, it's going to be fun. I'm still going to have fun all the time.”
If the Tigers are going to get going offensively, it all starts with Baez stepping up his game. If that happens, look out.