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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.

March 22nd, 2013 by Ceetar in 2013, Baseball, Mets
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Captain Wright In Blue

Photoshopped a picture of David Wright in a blue jersey with a C, just for fun.

 

Captain David Wright of the New York Mets in a blue jersey

December 1st, 2012 by Ceetar in Baseball, Mets
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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.

May 17th, 2012 by Ceetar in 2012, Baseball, Mets
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More Nice Things About David Wright

A lot of this season my focus has been on just how awesome Jose Reyes is, but let’s not forget our Captain third baseman. David Wright is also a great player, and I feel it’s going a little unnoticed by those in the fan base that scream for change for change’s sake without stopping to appreciate what we have.

David Wright owns, or is in the process of owning, so many of the Mets offensive records.  He’s 8th in games played, 1st in doubles, 4th in home runs, 2nd (by 12) in RBIs, 6th in stolen bases, 4th in walks, first in total bases, 2nd in runs and third in hits, although he may never get to first in those last two as he’s chasing teammate Jose Reyes.  He trails only Darryl Strawberry and Mike Piazza in slugging percentage.

His 2007 season was one of the best offensive seasons in Mets history, and he did everything one player could do to try to will the Mets to the playoffs.  He did the same in September of 2008.

Year G PA R H 2B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP Awards
2007 160 711 113 196 42 30 107 34 5 94 115 .325 .416 .546 .963 149 330 14 AS,MVP-4,GG,SS
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/19/2011.

He absolutely owns left-handed pitching. (To compare, Albert Pujols has a only marginally higher 1.085 OPS against lefties and that might just be the difference in slugging from playing in a slightly smaller park)

I Split G PA AB H 2B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB
  vs LHP as RHB 505 1165 984 336 84 51 176 159 157 .341 .433 .592 1.025 583
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/19/2011.

He played through pain with a broken back for a month earlier this season and still managed a game winning home run here and there.  To that note, David Wright owns the Mets record for game-winning RBI.

Since returning from the disabled list he’s hitting .289/.364/.479 with 8 HR and 39 RBI in 54 games.  That projects to 24 HR and 118 RBI over a full season and is just a handful of walks and maybe a home run or two off his career average. He’s got 42 strikeouts, which would be 123 over a full season, or much closer to the 115 he averaged over his first four full seasons.  All that’s factoring in that he just had a rough 10 days or so both offensively and defensively.

Defensively he’s been a very up and down player.  He went a month after returning from the DL where he looked amazing, making great catches, and great throws.  Other times he goes through phases where he let’s balls get by him, and misses first base on his throws.  I’m not going to break out any fancy statistics here, because defensive statistics are spotty in the absolute best case scenarios, and Wright hasn’t collected enough data to form any coherent opinion.  There’s just too much noise in the data, but I’ve seen him play serious Gold Glove caliber defense, and I know he can do it again.

David Wright is a historic Met and in the prime of his career.  He’s part of the 2012 solution and is a pleasure to watch every day.  His value to the Mets franchise is just another reason another team is not going to blow Sandy Alderson away with an offer for him.  The Mets need more franchise defining great players, and trading away one of them is not the way to do that.

September 20th, 2011 by Ceetar in 2011, 2012, Baseball, Mets
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Welcome Back David, We Missed You!

Today the Mets get back their unofficial captain and star third-baseman.  After all, how can the Mets take on the Goliath challenge of making the playoffs without their David?

 

The Mets playoff chances appear to be hanging by a thread, despite still technically controlling their own destiny as far as the Braves are concerned.  While they are playing just well enough to not fall out of it, they’re not gaining any ground either.  Another week without gaining ground possibly spells the end of Carlos Beltran as a Met, but looking to sell at the deadline or not, the Mets will get reinforcements.  David Wright returns tonight, and it looks like the road is marked for the return of Johan Santana.  I wouldn’t rule out Sandy Alderson making a trade that can help the Mets, both this year and in the future, at the trade deadlines.  Perhaps it’s unlikely, but you never know what’s going to be out there.

 

We’ll start with David Wright.  He’s tearing up Florida in the minors, and here’s hoping he’ll continue to tear up Florida in the majors this weekend.  It’ll be nice to have him back. Everyone time someone mentions the Mets third baseman I instinctively think David Wright, and Daniel Murphy’s name starting with the same letter doesn’t help.

 

So welcome back David Wright, and here’s to a great end of the season for you.

July 22nd, 2011 by Ceetar in 2011, Baseball, Mets
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The 4th Captain of the New York Mets

Last year I wrote that Wright was, and should be, the captain of the New York Mets. I still believe this, and maybe now more than ever.  In a way the Mets have put all their cards on the table here; they’ve hired some of the brightest people to reboot most of the management team.  Sandy Alderson has talked about having limited flexibility this offseason, but if the current crop of talent can’t show us some success, he’ll have no qualms about using the flexibility of 2012 to find players who can.  It’s imperative that the players work together to the best of their abilities.

Being a leader is more than being the best player on the team, or the “face of the franchise.”  None of us will ever truly know how Wright acts when it’s just players with no media or fans around.  What we do know is that he’s always willing to own up to mistakes, always willing to answer a hard question.  He’s fiercely competitive, and doesn’t accept anything less than total effort.  He openly cheers and roots for his teammates, and is always looking for ways to get better.  He’ll wait on the field to reward a good fielding play by an outfielder, or he’ll go to the mound if he feels the pitcher needs a moment.  If he gets picked off, he doesn’t sulk but opens a dialogue about what prompted him to take the big lead, and what he’s going to do next time.

Naming Wright captain would have other benefits as well.  If some are worried that Terry Collins may be too fiery, installing the calmer Wright as an intermediary would help buffer some of that fire.  Wright would have the authority to direct his players.  If he feels they should come early to take extra batting practice, guys are going to show up for him.  He’s already shown his ability at team-bonding; he orchestrated team haircuts, and the attempted no-shave until .500 quest of 2009.  This is mostly silliness and might not mean anything at all, but Wright’s clearly at the core of this team.

Even if it doesn’t mean anything, Wright as captain would also be beneficial from a marketing stand point.  The vast majority of Mets fans love David Wright, and naming him officially captain would only heighten the lore.  You could sell more gear with a big ‘C’ on it. Newspaper writers would have a field day with dueling images of Wright and Jeter during Subway Series weeks.  Clearly his team likes and supports him, so I see no downside to this title. You don’t name a leader AFTER you win a war, you name him to lead you to victory.  The Mets would benefit from  a unified core with a strong leader as they march into the fierce battle that is the 2011 season.

Read/listen to On The Black’s  take on the subject.

January 17th, 2011 by Ceetar in 2010, 2011, Baseball, Mets
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Baseball Equinox

As Faith and Fear in Flushing points out, yesterday was the (Mets) Baseball Equinox. That magical time of year when the start of the baseball season is closer than the end of the last season.  It’s time to look forward.  It’s only 42 (ish, no official date yet) days until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on February 13th.


It’s unlikely the entire roster will be clear when that day arrives, or even set in stone on Opening Day.  The Mets aren’t likely to be revealed as a powerhouse out of camp, or be picked by many to even mak

e the playoffs.  Like many teams that go into the season with players with potential, players with talent, and players that need to stay healthy, it’s a fresh start and a fresh chance to change the narrative.

This isn’t a franchise that’s praying and hoping it’s latest batch of draft picks turns out to be superstars that they can control for years and actually compete.  The Mets are an under-performing team that finished around .500 last year. They’ve been cast as injury-prone, washed-up, creaky, soft, or just simply not that good.  As Sandy Alderson fills out the roster, and the Mets report for Spring Training and start showing us what they can do, they’ll have a chance to start changing what they’ve been type-cast as.

Carlos Beltran can hit the season healthy, and prove that a combination of time and his knee-brace can keep him on the field and performing all year long.  David Wright can take the mantle of captain, whether officially or unofficially, and lead this team.  Ike Davis and Jon Niese, among other 2010 rookies, can take that next step forward and become better major league baseball players. R.A. Dickey can assert that he’s a burgeoning knucklerballer, not a one-year wonder. The Mets can start rewriting their story as a well-run, hard-working team of talent rather than the usual mess they’re portrayed as.  It’ll take some effort and success and maybe even luck to start getting the reporters and fans to see this cast of characters as a new team.  Still, the foundation is there.  The Mets have a new general manager and manager that the media would love to cast as saviors.   They’ll be falling over themselves to to explain how Collin’s fiery leadership is leading to wins and success on the field.  They’ll praise Alderson’s construction of the bench, or the bullpen, or his choice at 2B as brilliant.

It’s 2011 and we’re closer to the new season than the old one.  Baseball is around the corner and the Mets have nowhere to go but up.  There are still acquisitions to happen, and jobs to be won, but when the season starts we’ll have a lot to cheer about.

January 2nd, 2011 by Ceetar in 2011, Baseball, Mets, seasons, Spring Training
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David Wright Is, and Should Be, The Captain of the New York Mets

Not every baseball team has, or needs, a captain.  Currently only four of the thirty teams have captains:  Derrek Lee of the Cubs, Paul Konerko of the White Sox, Jason Varitek of the Red Sox and Derek Jeter of the Yankees.  The Mets haven’t historically needed to trump up the ego or perception of one of their players and proclaim him captain.  In fact they’ve only had three in their history and two were co-captains. Keith Hernandez was named captain after the Championship season of 1986.  Gary Carter soon joined him, and they were co-captains until 1989.  John Franco, after the 2000 Pennant year, was named captain and served until 2004.

Is it time to name a new captain?  Could the Mets benefit in 2010 from an on the field leader?  There are arguments for and against, but I think it’s becoming more and more obvious that title or not, David Wright is a leader on this team.  He’s hardly the only one: Carlos Beltran and Johan Santana both provide leadership as well, but the team might still benefit from an official captain.

Johan Santana is a cheery guy in the clubhouse, and he’s also a fierce competitor.  He provides a nice mix of enjoying the game, yet still preparing and competing to the best of your ability. Francisco Rodriguez provides energy and passion at the end of the game, and is also a fiery guy.  It’s generally assumed that a pitcher, despite John Franco, cannot be a captain because they do not take the field every day.  I don’t really buy that argument.  While there is a benefit to being a leader from the front of the lines every day, there are plenty of ways to lead from the dugout, between innings, and before and after games.  Santana is on the mound 20% of the time and the pitcher is definitely front and center of the guys on the field batting for a win.

Still, it’s obvious to most observers that the guy most likely to be the Captain of the Mets is David Wright.  He’s well-spoken, confident, and a star.  He’s a fan favorite and one that will hopefully spend his entire career with the Mets.  He’s never worn another uniform.  He grew up a Mets fan.  He’s a guy that’s willing to instruct, support and motivate his teammates and they respect him for it.  David Wright can lead this team.

The 2010 Mets have a void in leadership with a lame duck manager.  The players are now familiar with the plusses and minuses of the current management and it’s time for them to step up and provide for themselves.  Whether this is David Wright walking out to the mound to talk to Pelfrey, or Johan Santana signaling to the infield what he’s going to throw so they can cheat and reposition themselves a little bit, 2010 is about moving forward, and it’s time to name a captain.  The last two times the Mets named one it was after a pennant year and the team lost.  Maybe it’s time to name a captain that will lead us to another championship rather than rewarding a player with a title afterwards.  But one thing is certain whether it becomes official or not: David Wright is the captain of the 2010 New York Mets.

This post will also be visible at The Real Dirty Mets Blog for vibrant discussion and debate.  Come join the fun!

March 25th, 2010 by Ceetar in 2010, Baseball, Mets
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