May 20, 2024; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) tosses a ball to the stands in the fourth inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Francisco Lindor made his return to Cleveland this week for the first time since the Guardians traded him in a blockbuster deal to the New York Mets. Lindor received a warm reception from the Cleveland faithful, going 0-for-4 at the plate in his first game at Progressive Field since 2020.

Lindor was a beloved infielder in Cleveland with a treasure trove of memories from his time there. He established himself as the top shortstop in baseball and by 2016, it became clear Cleveland couldn’t match his asking price. Traded to New York the year before his eventual free agency, he signed a massive 10-year, $341 million extension.

Leaving Cleveland wasn’t without some awkward goodbyes, but there’s no denying Lindor’s past popularity. The trade ultimately benefited both teams. Cleveland acquired All-Star second baseman Andrés Giménez, along with other promising players, in the package that sent Lindor to New York.

And yet, there still seems to be some bad blood. That’s not on the fans’ part; they welcomed Lindor with open arms on Monday. Instead, the official Guardians account on X (formerly Twitter) referred to Lindor as “Frankie,” a name that he has asked people to stop calling him for some time now.

Ahead of his first season in Orange and Blue, Mets broadcaster Howie Rose asked Lindor what he preferred to be called, as other people had taken the liberty of calling him “Frankie” despite his strong preference for Francisco.

“I prefer Francisco. I like my name. Frankie, it’s a little more Americanized for me,” Lindor said. “Frankie, it was fine. I never complained. So there’s no excuses. I never complained in years past. But now I want my name. I want Francisco. My momma named me Francisco. My grandpa was Francisco, so Francisco it is.”

So, by calling him “Frankie,” the Guardians admin is either trying to troll or even unnerve Lindor. There’s no way it wasn’t done purposefully, considering his strong objection to the nickname and his preference for being called the name that his mother gave him.

Many on social media criticized the post for disregarding his wishes, especially considering it was intended to be a celebratory one.

Adding to the mixed feelings, Lindor’s return lacked the customary video tribute players often receive. Whether this was done intentionally isn’t for us to decipher, but it’s hard not to connect the dots here.

While Lindor’s departure from Cleveland wasn’t entirely smooth, his conduct throughout the situation remained professional. Lingering tensions with the organization might exist, but using a nickname he dislikes reflects poorly on everyone involved. This is especially true for a player of Lindor’s caliber, who made significant contributions to the franchise that once called him their own.

[Cleveland Guardians on X]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.