Francisco Lindor threw a bag over his shoulder, fist-fisted several boys eating pizza in the clubhouse, made his way to the door of Citi Field, and desperately I took the rest I needed. After playing 111 of a possible 112 games this season.
The Mets shortstop said when a reporter asked how much he hoped he would be considered as one of the players, the best position in franchise history between Piazzas, Beltran and the Strawberries. stopped for a moment.
"By all means," he said. "But don't worry about it. I want to finish in that category one day, but I want to win. I want to bring the championship to the organization, the city, and the Cohen family."
Again. A very good answer on a very good day.
Lindor got on base three times, scored three runs, threw two of his runs, and singled the opposing side as he routed the Reds 10-2. The Mets (73-39) have won 15 of their last 17 games. Lindor joined David Wright as the only Mets to score at least one run in 13 straight games, tying Jose Reyes for most RBIs at Mets shortstop in the season (81).
Later in his locker, Lindor said he didn't know he lined up with Wright's record. He called Reyes "someone I grew up watching" and said it was "cool" to share a piece of the franchise's history with him.
"But here I am, trying to win the World Series. said the shortstop. "That's all I have in mind."
So his message is consistent. In fact, it's not a message at all. 66-year-old manager Buck Showalter can tell the difference between counterfeit goods and the real thing.
And Showalter loves shortstops. He said Lindor resisted his decision to replace him in the top of the ninth, just to take his feet off for five minutes. I know he will sacrifice everything for this," Showalter said.
In other words, 28-year-old Lindor acts like a baseball player who ultimately might be worthy of a 10-year, $341 million contract.
2021 Spring, remember when he accepted Steve Cohen's offer. Lindor likened it to the Powerball jackpot and excitedly told the New Yorker: We have been together for 11 years. ''
Since 2021, Mets fans thought '11 years together' sounded like 10 years too long for him.
Lindor spent most of that season as if he wanted to catch the next flight back to Cleveland. When he wasn't busy battling Jeff McNeill (with hands) and paying customers (with thumbs), he was losing too many fights with his opposite arm. His OPS plummeted to a career-low .734, and his charming smile came and went, but was mostly gone.
Asked on Wednesday whether being more comfortable in the market in year two was the reason for the significant improvement over year one, Lindor said: But it also helps to learn from the players and coaching staff and soak up the energy that the audience and everyone brings.
Out of the gate this year, Showalter moved to loosen up the shortstop, telling him he didn't expect his stats to measure up to the very high numbers in his contract. In response, the manager said, "Francis was a brazen rock."
But Lindor is still plagued by a small setback. A mediocre throw to Pete Alonso. A dull and indifferent tag at second base. He sacrificed some sleep in a relay play that wasn't as smooth as it should have been.
"He wants to be perfect in a world that isn't perfect," said Showalter.
On Tuesday night, Lindor became the first Mets shortstop in history to score multiple runs. offered the season. He has at least 20 home runs. He ranks in his MLB top 10 in points scored (74) and RBI. When Showalter walked into his room at the team's dining room Tuesday afternoon, he found Lindor huddled with his iPad in the corner, going over Mike Minor's release his points. Hours later, Lindo sent a 2-2 changeup from the Cincinnati starter over the left field wall.
Lindor says his former Cleveland teammate learned to watch opponent videos from Andrew Miller. But his commitment to being able to play every day is straight out of Derek Jeter and Eli Manning's playbook.
"I came to New York to play baseball," Lindor said. “That’s part of my job description. I want to be with them.”
That mentality could propel Lindo, a four-time Cleveland All-Star, to a long and prosperous career with the Mets. There is a nature. My colleague Mike Vaccaro, who knows the history of this franchise better than anyone, ranked the top five players of all time in order: Mike Piazza, Carlos Beltran, Keith Hernandez, Darryl Strawberry and David Wright. Ranking.
If Lindor wants to join their ranks, he has the time, the talent, and the right mentality. Playing for championships rather than stats ultimately makes him worth a huge amount of money.