For one reason or another, Francisco Lindor has drawn the ire and wrath of New York sports radio as of late. When things are going wrong for a team with championship aspirations, the blame is usually always directed toward the underperforming superstar with the big price tag.
And perhaps Lindor hitting just .235 is why the New York Mets have gotten out to such a slow start. But it would be short-sighted to direct the blame on just Lindor. Despite a slow start at the plate, he is tied for 11th in the majors for extra-base hits (21) and 13th for RBIs (32). Lindor leads all shortstops in Major League Baseball in RBIs and is just shy of the lead for extra-base hits, as Wander Franco of the Tampa Bay Rays currently has 22.
This weekend, the Mets, who have finally started to turn things around, are playing host to the Cleveland Guardians. Friday marked the first time that Lindor would have a chance to play against his former team, who traded him to the Mets, along with Carlos Carrasco, in a blockbuster January 2021 trade that sent Amed Rosario and Andrés Giménez to the Guardians. And while the trade has benefited both sides, for whatever reason, many think there has to be a winner or loser in this trade. Maybe that’s just the thinking of WFAN’s Brandon Tierney, but prior to this series, several articles have been penned reviewing the trade that sent Lindor to Queens. And Tierney made the argument that the Mets lost the trade on his WFAN midday show with Tiki Barber Friday.
— WFAN Sports Radio (@WFAN660) May 19, 2023
“So, I want to know if the Met fan, if they had a chance to re-do it, would you still do that trade with Lindor — and to a lesser extent Carrasco — for Giménez, Rosario and the two other kids (Josh Wolf and Isaiah Greene). Because there’s no way I would [do that trade again],” Tierney said on Tiki and Tierney Friday.
“I know both guys from the Guardians are having down years. Andrés Giménez was an All-Star last year, really good numbers across the board, and even Rosario had nine triples, 70-plus RBI, and a bunch of steals. Good player, not good this year, but when you throw in the money they’re making, I don’t know how any Met fan would say, ‘Yeah, I’ll still do that trade.’
“I’ll take it a step further…I think that Mets fans are going to grow to hate Francisco Lindor.”
Well, Mets fans sure didn’t hate Lindor on Friday night.
It was only fitting that Lindor would come up with the game on the line against his former team. The Mets had already erased a two-run deficit to tie the game at 9 apiece in the bottom of the 10th inning. With the chance to be the hero, Lindor came to the plate with runners on the corners and two outs against one of the game’s best closers in Emmanuel Clase.
The 29-year-old superstar ripped a first-pitch single up the middle, and past a diving Giménez, to deliver the Mets their third-straight win.
BALLGAME WON!!! pic.twitter.com/fI3mSAsbFa
— New York Mets (@Mets) May 20, 2023
Maybe with time, Lindor’s 10-year, $341 million contract won’t age so gracefully. At the same time, if Tierney spoke to any Mets fans after the game—his Twitter mentions were filled with them—I don’t think a single one of them would regret the trade.
Lindor is one of the best players at his position, and his clutch hit on Friday night proved just that. There’s a slight chance, if any, that he’s aware of Tierney’s comments. But it’s only fitting that Lindor would come through after the WFAN co-host made such a ludicrous remark.
[WFAN; photo from Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports]