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Francisco Lindor miffed, but understanding after being booed by Mets fans

Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor looks on as he

Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor looks on as he is booed by fans after he strikes out against the Boston Red Sox during the third inning of an MLB baseball game at Citi Field on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Boo who?

Francisco Lindor can’t believe he’s getting booed after just 18 games as a Met.

Welcome to the club. And welcome to New York.

"It’s interesting and it’s funny and it sucks," Lindor said before the Mets hosted the Red Sox on Wednesday night. "It doesn’t feel right, for sure. Interesting, because it’s the first time that it’s happened in my career, and funny because I’m getting booed and people think I’m going to go home and just think about why I’m getting booed.

 

"I get it. They’re booing because there’s no results. That’s it. They expect results. I expect results, and I get it. It’s part of the job. People expect results and they’re booing because there are no results. I just hope they cheer and jump on the field when I start hitting home runs and when I start helping the team on a daily basis a lot more than I’m doing right now."

Lindor heard it from the small crowd at Citi Field on Tuesday, when he went 1-for-4 in the Mets’ 2-1 loss to Boston. Lindor went into Wednesday batting .212 with one home run and three RBIs in his first season as a Met after getting traded to New York from Cleveland and signing a 10-year, $341 million contract extension.

"I’ve just got to be better," Lindor said. "To be honest, I’ve got to be better, and I will be better."

Lindor played his first six seasons in Cleveland. He’s learning that New York ain’t Cleveland.

Asked if he had a message for his new "fans," Lindor said: "You guys are fun. Thank you for coming out every day and supporting the team. I’ll give you guys the results, and to me that result is winning. That’s all I want. I didn’t come to New York to hit .350 and win MVP. I came here to win and I’m going to do whatever it takes to win."

Lindor’s nickname is Mr. Smile, and he was smiling as he talked about his slow start and the reaction to it. But he didn’t seem happy about it.

"It is what it is, man," Lindor said. "I can’t just sit here and complain. They want results and they’re frustrated. I just hope when they have the results, they cherish those moments as well."

Lindor isn’t a New York icon yet, but he joins a long list of Hall of Famers and All-Stars who have been booed in Gotham, from Mike Piazza to Carlos Beltran to Mickey Mantle to Mariano Rivera. It goes with the territory, especially if you don’t have any currency built up with the fans.

Lindor disagreed with the notion that he is slumping, despite what the numbers say, and said he knows how to get back to his best form. He has been wondrous in the field, but his at-bats have been less than expected so far.

"I know exactly what I’m doing," Lindor said. "That’s why I’m not frustrated in the sense where I’m going home or after every at-bat I’m constantly thinking and thinking and thinking. Because I know what’s happening. I don’t feel like I’m in a slump. Maybe for the people here in New York and the media and for other teams, they might think I’m in a slump. But I don’t feel like I’m in a slump. I feel like I’ve had quality at-bats."

Lindor had one his first time up on Wednesday when he walked against Red Sox righthander Nick Pivetta in the first. But Lindor struck out in the third inning.

That was after coming in early before the game and working with hitting coach Chili Davis on some drills designed to get Lindor going.

The Mets are playing an interleague series, but most of their games have been against National League teams, which has been an adjustment for Lindor.

"They pitch a little differently," he said. "But at the end of the day, it’s the same ball and the mound is the same distance and the bases are in the same places. I’m starting to get used to how they pitch, how they do things, how they attack hitters."

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