The Tribe faced the New York Yankees in the American League Wild Card Series, losing 12-3 Tuesday night and 10-9 early Thursday morning. It could be the last time Lindor dons an Indians uniform.
“It’s crossed my mind because a lot of you have mentioned it. I haven’t sat back and thought about it,” the four-time MLB All-Star told reporters during a Zoom call. “On social media, that’s all they talk about it… I haven’t thought about it deeply enough to say, ‘This could be my last game.'”
Lindor said he loves Cleveland: the city, the fans and what he calls a class-act organization. When asked if the Indians can afford him, he noted it’s a $1 billion team. Of course they can.
“I can’t control the future. I can’t control the move the organization makes. What I can control is how happy I am and how hard I work.”
He laughed out loud when asked if the team should spend more money.
“I’ve seen where they spent money and we lose in the first round. And I’ve seen them keep their hands in their pockets and we lose in the first round too,” Lindor said. “I would love to say spend money. But that’s (owner Paul) Dolan’s money.”
So what are the odds Mr. Smile returns to Cleveland next season?
“I’m not good with odds. I don’t play cards. I don’t bet,” Lindor said. “Ninety-nine percent I come back,” he said when pressed.
Lindor also lamented about playing the coronavirus-shortened season without any fans, adding he missed seeing people in the stands with their hot dogs and beer. Cardboard cutouts just couldn’t provide that postseason atmosphere. He said this series felt important, but it didn’t feel like the playoffs.
“There’s a lot of emotion. There’s frustration. I feel like from my side, I could have done a bit better, I could have been better, I could have helped the team a lot more. There’s some sadness because the season is over because we didn’t get to play deep into October. There’s happiness because every single guy did what they could to help us win,” Lindor said. “It sucks to be done right now. I don’t want to be done right now. I don’t want to play 62 games. Nobody does.”
The Yankees offense beat up on Indians pitcher Shane Bieber in Game 1. He gave up two homers and seven total runs before he was pulled in the fifth inning. New York’s bats remained hot against Carlos Carrasco and the Indians bullpen during Game 2, which lasted 4 hours and 50 minutes, the longest nine-inning game in major league history.
“The reason why we lost this series is they played better than us. They played better defense than us, they hit better than us, they pitched better than us,” Lindor said. “We’ll never have the highest payroll.”
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