Jason Kipnis & Francisco Lindor Sep 6, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis (22) talks to shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) in the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Unless you live under a rock, you are at least consciously aware that the team with the highest payroll in Major League Baseball is soon in danger of being in last place in the National League East. The New York Mets (20-23) have struggled out of the gate. And the best team that money can buy sure doesn’t look like a 1/4 through a 162-game schedule. Plenty of blame is to go around, whether you want to point fingers at a pitching staff that’s been brutal and the hitting has been inconsistent.

But, a two-time MLB All-Star and the former teammate of one of the Mets’ best players has other ideas. Instead, Jason Kipnis wants to place the blame on the team’s veteran leadership or in his words, lack thereof. In addition to Francisco Lindor – who Kipnis seemingly called out — the Mets have one of the older rosters in the league and are adept with veterans like Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Carlos Carrasco, David Robertson, Starling Marte, Mark Canha and Eduardo Escobar.

During a recent episode of ‘Foul Territory,’ Kipnis seemed to shoulder the team’s recent struggles on Lindor and his leadership during a conversation with former MLB catcher A.J. Pierzynski:

“All those veterans and no leadership.”

“You played with Lindor. Is he a leader?”

“I’m gonna repeat it again, all those veterans and no leadership.”

Lindor and Kipnis played with one another from 2015-2019 during the superstar shortstop age 21-25 seasons in the major leagues. So, there is a bit of a relationship there, as the two were an up-the-middle tandem with the Cleveland Guardians for the better part of five seasons.

At the same time, it’s unrealistic to expect a player like Lindor to command the attention of a clubhouse at such a young age. Kipnis seemed to agree with that sentiment, as he simultaneously backtracked and doubled down on his comments in a Twitter post on Wednesday afternoon.

Maybe leadership is an issue in the Mets clubhouse, maybe it isn’t. Kipnis isn’t in the clubhouse and when the Mets starting rotation has an ERA of 5.33, it’s hard to pin the blame on just Lindor, who was also named a team captain for Team Puerto Rico at the World Baseball Classic.

[Foul Territory]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.