As a fan, which would you rather have: an All-Star appearance from one of your favorite Cleveland Indians or your team making it through the playoffs and to the World Series? If the answer wasn't obvious, it was an easy one shortstop Francisco Lindor.
Before the Indians began their 10-game road trip with a win over the Seattle Mariners Monday night, Lindor commented on the fact that, although he is arguably one of the best shortstops in the American League, he isn't among the top-5 of vote-getters for the All-Star game, behind players such as Red Sox's Xander Bogaerts, Royals' Alcides Escobar, Blue Jays' Troy Tulowitzki, Astros' Carlos Correa, and Orioles' J.J. Hardy. But, the young shortstop doesn't care about making the All-Star game; he is more worried about playing baseball in October and bringing a World Series to the city of Cleveland.
Here's Lindor via Cleveland.com's Zack Meisel.
"That's fine. Whatever happens, happens. I don't play for any awards. I play for October baseball. That's what it's all about. The biggest accomplishment anyone could have is win the World Series. You can see this Kansas City team. They've got Gold Glovers, All-Stars and Silver Sluggers. And you can ask them, 'What was the best part of your career so far?' They will say winning the World Series. That's what I want."
So far during his second season in the MLB, the 22-year-old has not had a sophomore slump. He has .308/.361/.448 slash line with 11 doubles, one triple, six home runs, 29 RBIs, and 10 stolen bases in 55 games. That follows a rookie season that saw the shortstop have a .313/.353/.482 slash line with 22 doubles, four triples, 12 home runs, 51 RBIs, and 12 stolen bases in 99 games. But, this season, Lindor has arguably been the second-best shortstop in the AL, behind only Bogaerts. Due to the fact that fans vote for the All-Star game's starters, it's more of a popularity contest than a representation of who's the best at each position, which Indians manager Terry Francona realizes.
"When you're in a place where your attendance isn't like some of these other places, it's going to be that way. That's just kind of the way it is. He'll have his chance. That's just the way the game's set up. It's not a reflection in my opinion on him."
Luckily for Lindor, manager's vote for the game's reserves, so he still has a good shot of making the All-Star game, but just not as a starter. But either way, he's not worried about the midsummer classic. Although the kid may not seem like he is worried about it, Indians players are disappointed that the young shortstop isn't even in the top-5 of vote-getters for shortstops. Teammates such as pitcher Josh Tomlin expressed their opinion on the matter.
"Absolutely, it's disappointing. You saw what he did last year, and he hasn't even really broke stride. He comes out here, he's prepared, he plays every single day. He's had one day off the whole season so far. And he doesn't really go into slumps. He just has good at-bats. He plays defense. He takes pride in both. And he takes pride in winning. To see him not even on the top list for the shortstops for the All-Star Game, it is disappointing. He's a special player and he needs to be there."
But, at just 22 years old, Lindor reacted to the voting results and question like a veteran, stating that the All-Star game isn't as important as bringing playoff baseball and a World Series appearance back to the city of Cleveland and the corner of Carnegie and Ontario. To see such a young player have as much fun as he does along with being a veteran in situations like this one, the city of Cleveland has a special player, one that will hopefully have his dream become a reality.