‘It’s about the present’: Francisco Lindor on winning with Mets, rivalry against Yankees

Francisco Lindor Mets
Francisco Lindor will look to lead the Mets to the top of Major League Baseball, not just New York.
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Francisco Lindor still hasn’t watched any highlights of the 2016 World Series when his Cleveland Indians were defeated in seven games by the Chicago Cubs.

The heartbreaking loss extended Cleveland’s World Series drought to 78 years at the time. It’s now up to 83 years as they have not won it all since 1948.

“It hurts every time we lost in the playoffs,” Lindor said on Monday. “We were so close to accomplishing the ultimate goal, which is winning a World Series. I’ve been blessed with a great group of guys around me every year… they did an outstanding job to help me be in the best position, and help all of us.

“It hurts losing. I want to win. The day I win will be the day I start watching all my losses.”

If he does finally win, it will come in a different city after he was acquired by the New York Mets on Thursday in Major League Baseball’s first blockbuster of the offseason.

Lindor enters a similar situation with a Mets team that hasn’t won a World Series title since 1986 — a 35-year wait that has been torturous to one of the more tormented fan bases in all of sports.

“I’m very excited to be a part of this organization and I can’t wait to be a part of the big things going on and just be a little piece of the puzzle,” he said during his Mets’ introductory press conference. “Hopefully, we achieve our ultimate goal which is winning.”

Of course, the added dimension of playing with the Mets and trying to reach heights that few have accomplished before is contending with the cross-town rival Yankees, who have owned the city for the last century.

All that history, the disparity in championships, and success over the last 30 years mean nothing to Lindor.

“It’s not necessarily about what happened in the past about the championships that the Yankees have won,” Lindor said. “It’s about the present. If we’re able to win today, that’s what matters.”

“We want to be the No. 1 team in the entire country, not just New York.”