We’ll Miss You David

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.





David Wright Is Now A Cyborg

David Wright is not throwing in public this Spring Training. Various different beat reporters are reporting that when he ‘throws’ it’s behind closed doors, and have begun to wonder why. Could the Mets be bamboozling us? Is he not really throwing? Can he not throw? Maybe he doesn’t even have a right arm. Maybe that’s not even really David Wright!


Isn’t it obvious? He’s had robotic parts grafted onto his arm to help with the throws from third. He’s testing out and perfecting the motion of it so it looks human, and allowing the skin to properly heal over the metal so it’s not obvious. They’ve floated various vague excuses about college games and not letting the media see rusty David Wright, but the truth is not so much rust as oil, as in making sure the robotic parts are working well and doing any software updates that need to happen on his new arm.


Additionally, the Mets don’t want MLB to get wind of it. Cyborgs in MLB are not something that’s been discussed yet, and the Mets don’t want their star third baseman tied up in legal debates about what is, and is not, human. Sources familiar with this sort of quandary say that the Mets hope to casually add cyborg rules into the next CBA, hoping to have Wright slide under the radar until then.


Dr. Robert Watkins is the one that performed the surgery on Wright’s neck. At least, that’s what we’re told. The building in which Watkins operates is also home to an ‘electronics store’, and a little investigation into that store leads to connections to the government and the defense department. It’s pretty clear that David Wright has new cutting edge technology built into his body by government scientists. Captain America has always been a government super soldier, and that moniker has never been more fitting for Wright.


I reached out to the company, but they’ve been unresponsive to inquiries on this, which is definitely fishy.


It will probably take him some time to fully calibrate the new tech, but don’t be surprised if Wright is a leading MVP candidate by the summer time. Years from now we’ll look back on this moment as groundbreaking in Human-Cyborg relations. It’s why Terry Collins’ new nickname is 3PO.

Mets Captain David Wright

I’ve been writing about David Wright and how he is, and should be, the captain of the Mets for years. So clearly I’m happy it’s finally been officially proclaimed.


David Wright won't actually wear a C, but I photoshopped it anyway.


It doesn’t mean anything of course, and yet it’s nice to see. 99% of what I love about the Mets is simply that they’re the Mets and they play baseball. That 1% that is what the players do off the field, the uniform, the history and continuity, enjoys the celebration of one of the greatest Mets ever. We should appreciate David Wright while he’s here and in his prime, because we’re going to be talking about him for decades to come. Part of the celebration and appreciation is him being named captain. It’s part of the story, and even though it’s not ultimately anything to fixate over, it’s still fun.

Captain Wright, All-Time Met, Forever Met

Lots and love and support for Shannon Forde at the fundraising dinner last night. 1000 people that have crossed her path in the 18 years she’s worked for the Mets showed up to show their support, and not least among them Sandy Alderson and Jeff Wilpon.


Perhaps that’s why the news of David Wright’s re-signing didn’t come down and get finalized until the middle of the night; they were busy with something more important. It doesn’t matter which day of the offseason it gets done, and now that it’s seemingly done we can rejoice and celebrate what’s likely to be one of the Mets best players, perhaps the best, ever.


I’ve been calling for them to name Wright captain for years, and while it’s never been a thing of huge importance it’d be nice to see Wright’s new blue jersey come with a ‘C’. (I’m not at home right now, but we’ll get Wright photoshopped in a blue jersey with a ‘C’, I promise) I’m not asking him to take on a new role, or give him new responsibilities. Naming him captain is simply another way to celebrate him, and we should make a point to celebrate our best players when they’re on the field performing for us.


Wright is a Met. He’s always been a Met. He will always be a Met.  60 years from now Wright will be showing up at Alumni events and our kids and grandkids and beyond will be there to cheer him. They’ll compare him to their new heroes, and the third basemen that come after him. Players that likely haven’t even been born yet.  Wright will recount stories about playing with Cliff Floyd, Mike Piazza, Carlos Delgado and others. He’ll reminisce about at bats against legends like Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez and all the superstars in the league now plus the ones that will emerge over the next eight years.  No other Mets player will ever wear the number five again. He’s destined for the left field wall, and maybe one day the Hall of Fame and even a statue. There could be a Wright plaza at the next stadium.


What we have here in front of us is one of the Mets all-time greats, in his prime, to root for for years to come. This is greater than wins and losses, greater than owners and uniform colors and ticket prices. We’re going to talk about these times, this next legendary Met, for decades and decades. Enjoy it. Believe it.

How To Give David Wright His C

He's the Mets Captain in all but nameWe know David Wright is already the captain, if only unofficially, but it’d be nice to get him the official title.  I thought of a fun way to possibly do it.


There is a 50% chance that one of the local hockey teams is going to win the Stanley Cup.  So if this comes to pass, have that team bring the Cup to Citi Field for the Mets to see and have the captain, either Zach Parise of the Devils or Ryan Callahan of the Rangers, present David Wright with a Mets jersey with a ‘C’ on it.


Clearly as an Islanders fan I’m rooting against the Rangers and am not sure I really want the Devils to continue on and win it all either, but from a New York City standpoint I think this would be a fun way to do it.  It wouldn’t have the same impact without the Cup, but you could probably have one of them do it anyway if you wanted to make pomp and circumstance out of it.

Mets Ticket Giveaway!

It’s time for May’s Mets Ticket Giveaway, courtesy of Seatcrew.com.  This week Optimistic Mets Fan is giving away two tickets to a game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday May 15th.


Seatcrew.com is a secondary ticket market similar to Stubhub with an important twist: There are no ticket fees for the buyer or the seller, which means lower prices on tickets for you.  For a full write-up, and a list of which games you have a chance to win tickets to, check out my post from the offseason.


So here’s what you have to do to win.  First, you need to have a registered Seatcrew account. All you need is an email address.  Second, you need to predict how many hits David Wright will hit against the Phillies in three games.  This means you need to have your guess in to contest@ceetar.com before Wright’s first AB tonight.  There is one catch: Since this is an Optimistic fan site, we’ll be playing by reverse Price is Right rules.  This means the person closest to the total without going UNDER is the winning entry.  If you guess 4 hits, and David Wright hits 5, your guess is ineligible.  Be Optimistic.


If it helps, the Phillies are scheduled to start Roy Halladay, Joe Blanton, and Cliff Lee returning from the DL.  My personal guess would be 6 hits, with 2 home runs if you’d like to use that as a guide.  Good Luck!

Do You Believe In 6-3?

Is the Mets 6-3 record more than just a hot start?


Nine games are not a lot.  There is a LOT of baseball to be played yet.  Even the 1962 Mets had a stretch of games where they won six of nine.  In fact, they won nine of 12.  Of course, they followed that up with a 17 game losing streak, mostly to the Giants and Dodgers.


I don’t think this team is 1962 bad.  I’m pretty sure of it.  I don’t even think they’re 2011 bad.  I think this collection of players is a winning ballclub.  I said in March that this division would be a race down to the wire.  I still believe that they are all going to be more bunched up this season, compared to the Phillies winning 102 games last year.  As we know, this means winning the games against the division opponents becomes even more important.  The Mets are 6-3 against the division, 2-1 against the favorites, and are playing good baseball.


I was more optimistic, obviously, about this team to begin with.  I believe.  I think others are starting to believe too.  Maybe not that this team could actually compete, but that they might actually win more games than they lose.  They’ve shed the negativity that’s so prevalent in the offseason for what looks like a very fun team to watch.  You could see the expected win totals creeping up from the offseason, through Spring Training, and now even further with a nice start.


Obviously nothing’s perfect.  The Mets won’t win 67% of their games.  They probably won’t go 159 and 3. Bay still is very spotty and seems to get hurt every time he does anything good.  The defense is a work in progress, and may actually be really bad.  Mike Pelfrey is still Mike Pelfrey.  Although I’d offer this counter point to those saying it’s a pain to watch Pelfrey pitch:  Think about how the Phillies fans feel watching guys get soft blooping singles off of him and unable to make much of them.   Is there anything more frustrating than watching your players make soft contact?


There is much more good than bad in this short part of the season.  Ike Davis and Lucas Duda have started slowly, but they’re already hitting home runs.   The rotation has actually been excellent.  Santana is still standing and pitching well, Dickey is still awesome, Niese so far looks to have taken his new contract to heart, and even Pelfrey is generating the groundballs he needs to be successful.   Let’s not forget David Wright.  Many of you joked about his jammed finger and day to day status leading to a three month DL stint.  Instead he missed merely three games and homered in his very next pitch.  I think Rich Coutinho said it best:

So let’s enjoy some baseball, and see if the Mets can sweep the Braves again!

You Better Believe We’re Going To Overreact

Mets snag an Opening Day WinThree games is a very small sample of data.  It’s still early.


I don’t care.  I’m going to enjoy it.  I’m going to throw out ridiculous information because it’s fun to look at projections of Lucas Duda hitting 120 home runs.


While three games is just three games, it’s still a lot more meaningful than Spring Training data.  Frank Francisco nailed down three saves.  The bullpen pitched well.   Lucas Duda really does look like he can hit.   Ruben Tejada’s looking good.  The Mets are in first place.  Even Jason Bay has an RBI, and leads the league in sacrifice flies.


Just enjoy it.  Things will probably shake out differently the rest of the season.  I doubt the Mets go 162-0.  Still, I think as people see this team play they’re realizing that they actually do have talented players on it.  Enjoy the ride.  Is there something from this weekends games that opened your eyes involving this Mets team?


David Wright is on pace to … I don’t even want to say it.  I’m afraid I’ll jinx it.  There is a certain batter outcome that happens at the plate, and it’s one that’s been very prevalent in Wright’s game the past couple of years.  Ryan Howard and Adam Dunn are experts at it.  Wright hasn’t done it this year.   He didn’t do it in Spring Training either.  Keith Hernandez is practically drooling over his batting stance so far this season.   We all know what David’s capable of.  This is my biggest point of optimism this weekend.

Nervous About David Wright’s Ribs?

It’s natural to be a little nervous that David Wright hasn’t played a Spring Training game yet because of some pain/tightness/discomfort in his ribs/chest/oblique.


It’s easy to panic, but the signs seem to point to the Mets being super overly cautious this Spring.  The Mets have dealt with some injuries in that area the last couple of years, and most recently Scott Hairston re-injured his oblique, months after he originally hurt it.   Can you imagine the public relations disaster if just a week after Hairston hurt the same muscle, David Wright took a hard swing in a meaningless Spring Training game and was out until May?  The Mets probably view it as a smart move to just not let Wright swing hard for another week or so to assure themselves that he’s not going to hurt it.  He’s certainly got plenty of time to get his timing down for the real games.


Wright claims he’d be playing if this was the regular season, and despite the reputation of the Mets word on injuries being what it is, we don’t have anything else to go on.  He’s reportedly doing all his workouts and stretches so he can’t possible be that injured.  Hopefully we’ll see him next week as planned and by the time the season starts we won’t remember that he was even dealing with this.