Here’s a list of the top three least surprising things to happen this month:
3) Travis Barker getting Kourtney Kardashian’s name tattooed on him.
2) Rory and Mal returning to the Joe Budden Podcast.
1) Mets fans booing Francisco Lindor.
In some instances, you’re hardest on the ones you expect the most from, and New Yorkers are less patient than Homer Simpson was the time he field goal kicked a tortoise. Eighteen games into his 11-year relationship with the Mets, Lindor — who signed a 10-year, $341 million extension prior to Opening Day, which will begin following this current season — was booed loudly for the first time this season just last night.
… on the 18th game of the season.
The booing isn’t a big deal around here, because seemingly every major star worth a damn in New York City has been booed at some point in their career. Carmelo Anthony got it. Patrick Ewing got it. Every drafted New York Jet gets it. Eli Manning got it after winning two Super Bowls. Lindor’s teammate, Michael Conforto, just got it. It just signals that the Lindor expectations are vociferously high, and the fact that he’s due over $340 million will heighten those hopes, as well as the jealousy to follow if he doesn’t perform. But over 18 games in a sport where a team plays 162 games a season is a stretch, even for New York.
Through his 18 appearances, Lindor — like most of his teammates — is struggling from the plate. He only has 14 hits in his 66 at-bats, giving him a .212 batting average, and he also has a morbid OPS of .593. He also just has two extra base hits, including one home run, and three RBI’s. It didn’t help matters after his only single in yesterday’s 2-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox was a nibbler legged out for an infield single. Mets manager Luis Rojas knows the early jeers are part of the package. He understands that what it really signals is that the fans simply give a shit.
“Our fan base is very passionate,” Rojas said. “They support our team. They want everyone to perform consistently. We feel that.”
Really, it’s that simple. Overreacting to April baseball is never smart.
Lindor has also been fielding his position very well, turning 12 double plays, nearly half of the 30 he had last season, and he also has a fielding percentage of .986. On the same night he was booed, he even did this:
The early disapproval might be something we laugh at in October if the Mets are in the playoffs and if Lindor has a season stat line mirroring his better days in Cleveland. Or it doesn‘t quite go as planned initially because the entire season ends up to be an unfulfilling experiment, but with 10 more years on the docket, whatever. He’s too good for the bat not to come around, and baseball viewers should know better than anyone, it’s a marathon, not a quickie.