By Alan Zeitlin
Remember how Eli Manning felt dissed last season when genius head coach Ben McAdoo benched Eli Manning in favor of Geno Smith? It was a blunder that insulted a Giant hero. While David Wright did not have the good fortune to have the good health Manning has had, he won’t get insulted and will get his chance to finally play at the end of the month.
It may be a few at bats when he starts and maybe a pinch-hit opportunity a game before or after. Wright was one of the true gentlemen of the game and he brought a sort of magic with him. Wright holds many met records. He tops the franchise list for RBIS with 970, hits with 1,777 and runs with 949. He got to play in a World Series against the Royals and was close to a World Series in 2006 when the Mets lost in 7 to the Cardinals the National league Championship Series. He will be remembered for an amazing barehanded catch against the Padres and getting a game winning hit off Mariano Rivera.
I will never forget the day in 2009 when I was walking by a restaurant that had a TV on and from the street I saw that Wright was up. I stopped to see one pitch from Matt Cain. The pitch nailed him in the head. Luckily, he was okay. It was in 2015 that he injured his hamstring on a steal and then would eventually be diagnosed with spinal stenosis which doomed the remainder of his career. Wright was scandal-free and a great role model. Credit must be given for all the hard work it took to try to get back on the field. Though he was unable to do it on a regular basis, at least he will get the send-off he deserves.
2007 was his best year as he hit .325 with 30 homers, 107 RBI, 42 doubles and 34 stolen bases. The Mets unfortunately did get enough time with Wright and Yoenis Cespedes at full health. Wright was the last Met to be a part of the Home Run Derby and he finished 2nd to Ryan Howard. His game had a sense of purity and you never heard him curse. He rarely argued. It is sad to think he will never get a World Series victory. He did have 4 RBI against the Royals. Wright’s somewhat compact stroke matched his personality and he was a player you loved to root for. The body is a strange thing and spinal stenosis is not that common.
Wright will go down as one of the best Mets of all-time. It would be interesting to see if he would want to be a manager but my gut tells me that’s not for him. He might go to ESPN and perhaps team up with former third-baseman Alex Rodriguez. When Wright is given his last start, it should be a sell-out.