A former teammate seemingly believes star shortstop Francisco Lindor is failing the New York Mets as it pertains to leadership.
Retired infielder Jason Kipnis spent five years as Lindor’s teammate with Cleveland and said on the “Foul Territory TV” program he thinks the current Mets have “all those veterans and no leadership,” as shared by Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Former catcher and show host A.J. Pierzynski asked Kipnis about his experience sharing a clubhouse with Lindor.
“I’ll say it again, all those veterans and no leadership,” Kipnis responded.
The Mets began Thursday 21-23 despite being responsible for the league’s most expensive payroll.
“If everybody is a veteran there, you’re just under the assumption that everyone is taking care of their business and going about things the right way,” Kipnis added. “But you kind of need someone to be those bumper pins on each side when people start getting out of line a little bit. It helps keep people in order and on track and focused on the same thing. Everybody gets a little comfortable because it’s all veterans, and you don’t have to worry about what you’re doing because you can do no wrong.”
Kipnis addressed his comments on Twitter.
“Frankie wasn’t expected to be a leader when he was so young (with Cleveland). I bet he’s grown into a damn good one,” Kipnis wrote. “We’re just talkin about s— cause (the Mets are) not winning like they can.”
For what it’s worth, Lindor reportedly made it known in March 2021 he thought people who called him “Frankie” during his time in Cleveland were “lazy.”
Cleveland traded Lindor to New York in the winter of 2021, and he ultimately signed a 10-year, $341M contract extension that spring. Thus far, the 29-year-old has produced a mixed bag at the plate this season. He began Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays batting just .229, but ESPN stats show he was also tied for 13th in the majors with 31 RBI.
Interestingly, the Mets open a three-game series against the Guardians (19-23 at the start of Thursday’s MLB action) at Citi Field on Friday night.