David Wright is returning at the end of this season for, probably, just one game, and maybe not even a full one. The spinal stenosis and related injuries have wrecked his back to the point that it’s a constant companion, and one that has made it so doing the one thing he loves more than anything, playing baseball, is agony.
That sucks. On so many levels. David has meant so much to the team, to the fans, to baseball in general. I’ll miss him quite a bit, now that he’s officially not coming back. He’s been a part of the Mets routine for so long that it’s hard to wrap my head around the idea of him not being out there somewhere, swinging a bat and making great plays at third. He was a Met before I had even had my first real job, long ago.
It’s crazy to think about how the game has changed since then. The Mets no longer play at Shea Stadium. There’s Twitter, and Smartphone apps, and hell, smartphones. When Wright debuted, MLB TV was still very new, and Moneyball had just come out the previous year. Fangraphs did not exist. Amed Rosario was eight years old.
David Wright was a Hall of Fame caliber player, and he was ours. I think about him hitting these last few years, with the juiced ball that seems to particularly favor the type of hard-contact, gap-hitting player that David Wright
is was, and I lament that we didn’t get to see him putting up what surely would’ve been a few more MVP caliber seasons that would’ve cemented his Hall of Fame case. We’ve spent David’s career watching him climb over and take every Mets record imaginable, and he’s been stuck so close to taking that Home Run title from Darryl Strawberry for so long that it’s been agony.
But mostly, I’m just sad for David Wright. By all accounts a great guy that loves playing this game and now he’ll struggle to even play some token innings at the end of a lost season. This isn’t how it was supposed to go.