This morning, Francisco Lindor had his first taste of the New York media in his introductory press conference. While there was nothing revelatory said during the 45 minute Zoom event, Lindor gave Met fans a ton to smile about with his enthusiasm, grace, and optimism he showed with reporters.
The most pressing questions were those about a potential extension. While Lindor did not put any sort of timetable or price tag on the table, he did say that once he was ‘at a certain point’ in spring training, he wouldn’t want to discuss the contract any longer, because he had to focus on winning. Although he was asked point blank whether or not he would be comfortable signing before suiting up as a Met for the first time, he didn’t answer the question directly. That said, from what he did say, it seems like he would be open to an extension sooner rather than later.
Lindor mentioned a few times that he thought he would have stayed in Cleveland, thinking that they would be able to afford an extension and mentioning the conversations his agents had with the front office brass. Lindor seemed to legitimately be sad to leave the people in Cleveland, and thanked just about every part of the Cleveland baseball community he could, from grounds crew to ownership to fans for his time there.
However, it was nearly impossible to not tell just how excited Lindor was to be in New York. Calling it a privilege to wear the Mets logo, Lindor talked quite a bit about the clubhouse and the good reputation that it has, and how he was just looking to be a ‘small piece in the puzzle.’ He talked about how he was a team player, who wouldn’t necessarily be a ‘rah rah’ leader, but rather someone who would help pull the load with the rest of his team.
If there were a checklist of things you’d want to hear from a new player, Lindor hit most, if not all, of them. He spoke about his desire to win a World Series, explaining that he still can’t watch the 2016 World Series because it hurts too much. “The day I win a World Series is the day I can watch the losses,” said Lindor.
He also spoke of being excited to be a part of New York, where ‘everything is at the tip of your fingers,’ and mentioned his little girl growing up here, so maybe the extension talk is further along than we think, at least in his mind. When asked about something he wanted to eat in New York, he mentioned that he loves pizza. “I’ll probably eat some pizza.”
The most notable moment in the press conference came from a question asked by Andy Martino. Lindor was asked about his reaction to when two Cleveland players broke safety protocols last season. Lindor went out of his way to say that both players that broke protocol were good guys, and that we all make mistakes. Lindor then went on to talk about how he has family and friends who are high risk, and how if he contracted COVID-19 “I may be fine, but if I spread it, they [his neighbors, family, friends] may not be.” He specifically pointed to his fiancé, who was pregnant with his daughter during last season, and how he was trying to earn a living for his family, and was afraid that he would bring home anything that could hurt his unborn child.
Lindor spoke a bit about his past and present teammate Carlos Carrasco, saying what a great pitcher and friend Carrasco was, specifically saying how much easier the transition to New York will be with ‘Cookie’ by his side.
A number of members of the press asked about his ever-present smile and positive attitude. After citing the blessings in his life, including his family and the ability to play baseball professionally, Lindor summed up his smile thusly: “Why not? Why not smile? I’m living my dream, the life I’ve always wanted, so I don’t see why I shouldn’t smile.”