All around Francisco Lindor are familiar faces. Not so worn out places or faces. New York Mets fans arrived at Citi Field on Friday bright and early for the daily races. The Mets are going somewhere, going somewhere.
How did he celebrate the home opener for the team on Friday? Lindor picked up where he left off at the end of last year. A pair of home runs for Lindor put him at least temporarily ahead of Pete Alonso for the team lead.
A man who spent a good portion of last year upset at the boos he received—even going as far as to start giving the fans the thumbs down in return—has started off with a much different story this season. He is trading souvenirs for cheers. It’s not a mad, mad world for Lindor anymore.
The Francisco Lindor the Mets were hoping for has arrived
We can all make assumptions as to why Lindor was so poor in 2021. Was it the pressure of New York or his contract? Were there too many other distractions around him either at home or in the locker room? He may have just had a bad year. Unless he has a definitive answer as to why he looked sluggish for most of his first year with the Mets, anything we come up with is pure speculation.
Lindor’s presence on the Mets is an important one yet somewhat overlooked. His huge $341 million extension kicked in this year. However, it wasn’t really much of a story. Fans have moved on to other things. The presence of Max Scherzer. Whether or not Chris Bassitt was the right starting pitcher. Can Mark Canha, Eduardo Escobar, and Starling Marte provide them with the offense they need?
Lindor is an A-player on the Mets but his contract is a B-story. In terms of Simpsons Super Bowl episodes, it’s the Marge and Lisa doing the Vincent Price’s Egg Magic kit of Mets storylines. It’s important but we remember Homer and Bart’s trip to Miami much more.
A pair of home runs at the home opener was a great way to kick off his reintroduction to New York. He was already playing well on the road trip but reached a new zenith on Friday. Lindor is getting on base, ripping extra-base hits, and playing his usual level of Gold Glove defense.
How he handles any adversity this year will be the big test. He seemed to let slumps get to him last year as did many members of the team. Whether fans are booing or cheering for him, Lindor needs to keep smiling. He’s going to be here for a while. By the end, maybe he will rule the MLB world. Trading souvenirs for cheers will certainly help.