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Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor largely led the way for Cleveland Indians teams that experienced plenty of success during the duo’s five years as teammates (2015 -2019).
Yet, they apparently did so with little leadership coming by way of Lindor, a four-time All-Star during his Cleveland playing days.
Kipnis, now retired, and Lindor were widely-considered one of the better second baseman-shortstop combos in the American League during their time together with the MLB club then-known as the Indians.
When asked earlier this week about the struggles of Lindor’s current team, the Mets, Kipnis told Foul Territory TV host A.J. Pierzynski: “All those veterans and no leadership.”
After Kipnis insinuated Lindor lacked leadership qualities, Pierzynski quickly followed up, asking: “You played with Lindor. Was he a leader?”
Without hesitation, Kipnis told Pierzynski, a longtime MLB catcher: “I’ll say it again, all those veterans and no leadership.
Francisco Lindor Was Traded To The Mets In 2021
“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.”
Later, Kipnis insinuated that it’s not just Francisco Lindor who lacks leadership, but most of the Mets. And he seems to think a reason why is because they have so many vets on the ball club who seem to think it’s anybody’s job other than their own.
“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,” said Kipnis.
Francisco Lindor and his Mets teammates opened a three-game series in New York versus Cleveland on Friday night. As OutKick’s Ian Miller reported, New York won the opener 10-9 in dramatic fashion. They did so because of the bat of – who else – Lindor, who finished the game 3-for-6 including the game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 10th.
Lindor Enters Saturday Hitting .235
Maybe that’s the type of leadership, at least at the plate, that Kipnis had been seeking from Lindor during their Cleveland days?
Prior to the series’ start, on Wednesday, Kipnis seemed to have a slight change of heart, but didn’t entirely walk back his opinion of his former infield teammate. He tweeted in part: “Also Frankie wasn’t expected to be a leader (with Cleveland) when he was so young. I bet he’s grown into a damn good one. We’re just talkin’ about shit cause they’re not winning like they can.”
Lindor has another chance to show off his leadership skills, along with those of his bat and glove, this afternoon when New York hosts Cleveland in the second game of their weekend series. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 pm EST.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF