The 10-year, $341 million extension Francisco Lindor signed with the Mets on the eve of Opening Day doesn’t even begin until next season.
So the shortstop is hopeful that the negative reaction he received for being part of the thumbs-down saga doesn’t continue to linger for much longer.
“I hope this don’t stick around, because it wasn’t meant to offend anybody, to disrespect nobody,” Lindor said Tuesday as he and Javier Baez offered apologies.
Lindor has been booed on multiple occasions by the fans at Citi Field as he has largely struggled to produce offensively in his first year with the team. He entered Tuesday batting .224 with 11 home runs and an 89 OPS+, a week removed from being activated off the injured list after missing five-plus weeks with a strained oblique.
Upon being introduced for his first at-bat Tuesday, Lindor received a mix of cheers and boos from the small crowd in attendance for the doubleheader opener. After laying down a sacrifice bunt, he got more cheers as he headed off the field.
“It sucks getting booed. I don’t like it,” Lindor said. “It doesn’t feel good from the home base. However, I have embraced it and I have said, ‘yeah, I have sucked at times.’ And I haven’t done my part when it comes to the offensive side.”
Lindor, who previously said he did not remember ever being booed in Cleveland in the first six years of his career, insisted he was prepared for the difference of playing in New York.
“The fans here are honest,” Lindor said. “In other places they’re very honest, but they keep to themselves a little bit more, kind of like me. Here, I have a lot of respect for people. They’re very honest and they let you know right away. As soon as I come down, I sucked, I made an error, they’ll let me know, ‘You sucked!’ What can I say? What, am I getting into an argument? No, that’s not right.
“I respect people are honest and the other fan base that are a little bit more calm, I respect it too.”
Now he wants to turn his focus toward helping the Mets win as opposed to the recent tailspin they have been in.
“We want to bring championships to the city,” Lindor said. “And I made a commitment for 10 years, and that’s what I want to do. Win. Win. I want to focus on winning.
“I want to focus on embracing the fans and making this organization the greatest organization. At the end of the day, I truly believe that’s the case. It has great potential to become a great organization. It’s a really good organization, and we’re going to continue to grow and make it one of the best ones out there.”