Mets Blogger Roundtable: Level Of Anger Over Mets Handling Of Wright
When telling the history of the New York Mets, you will have to include the story of David Wright. Wright was not only one of the best players in franchise history, but he was also one of the most beloved players. More than that, Wright’s tale is a story of perseverance with respect to how he keeps battling back from spinal stenosis and a litany of other ailments.
Certainly, the end of Wright’s career is a story of tragedy with many looking for a story of redemption at the end. With the Mets currently 12 games under .500, there is no better opportunity to finally allow Wright to play in front of his daughters. It is also a good opportunity to allow Mets fans to say good-bye to one of the most beloved players in franchise history.
It seems that while the Mets will allow Wright to play in rehab and simulated games, they are not willing to let him play in Major League games. The Mets will say he’s not physically ready to play while many believe this is just a way for the Mets to not give up the insurance money. More than ever, there seems to be anger among Mets fans over the perception the team is allowing the insurance money to stand in the way of Wright playing again.
With that as the backdrop, our Mets Bloggers have offered their opinions and level of anger over the situation:
11 out of 10.
Good: let David play when he wants.
Bad: Don’t let David play because it’ll save you money. Worst: don’t let David play because it will save you money, but while doing so, put on a charade that you’re trying to let him play in a few days and that there’s still something he has do to. Of course the Wilpons chose the worst option.
Michael Mayer (MMO & MMN)
I have nothing to add to his perfect statement
Anger would eminate from passion … a will to fight. I’m not sure it’s worth it to fight the stupidity of an organization that specializes in same the bad optics that they love to bring up when Yoenis Cespedes plays golf on his off days. Especially when “bad optics” are the best case scenario with insurance fraud being the worst. What a depressing scale, eh?
I actually choose to not be angry. I also don’t believe the Mets should activate David Wright for the hell of it either. I mean, it’s not like he’s saying publicly he’s ready. He himself has said he still has work to do to get to the place he needs to be in order to play at this level. And he knows his body, condition, and skill better than anyone. When he says he’s ready and the Mets are playing a game, that’s when I’ll get pissed. That doesn’t at all mean the Mets do things right, and aren’t messing with the finances of his contract right now. But I myself certainly don’t want to see a fractional version of Wright or Wright get hurt ten minutes after he gets activated. I trust him, and understand what all of this is and want him to play when he can actually be productive.
Michael, these are very important points and you’re right. If they want a “major league player”, as they say, then they should have the guts to shut him down and then reason that there are two more years left on his contract and we’d rather have him 100% (or as close as possible) for those two seasons. Why would you rush him back for these three weeks? That’s why this all makes me feel like this is a stunt by the Mets to have the nostalgia night with him and Reyes, and then negotiate a buy out after the season or release him. And honestly, I don’t want nostalgia night. I’d guess that David doesn’t want that either. I think we do too much looking back and not enough looking forward anyway. And nostalgia night with David and Jose one last time on the left side of the infield would be an obvious contrived cash grab. That would make me sick to my stomach.
I don’t know the Mets are looking for nostalgia night either. John Ricco has indicated they want a productive player when they activate Wright. I also don’t think they’re trying to rush him back. Remember, he got 40 AB and they took it very slow. And at one point he shut it down himself temporarily because he had trouble. This has been an excruciatingly slow and grueling process, for both his sake and the team’s sake. He’s close and I think a lot of people – including me – are itching to see him play. But the last thing anyone needs is for David to come back, get hurt and it all be over. So they’re going to make sure they do everything they can to get him back and get him back to a place this can be managed so he can stay healthy, on the field and can live a normal life after baseball.
It’s such a sui generis situation. Any other player who’d been out two-plus years working his way through rehab would have been reinstated and been used accordingly (sparingly). But no other player would figure to have David’s kind of contract and there wouldn’t be this kind of insurance consideration on the table.
In that same vein, I don’t believe any other player at this stage of his career would have worked as hard as David Wright to get back. David takes his Metsdom and his captaincy very seriously, though I also believe if he was in any other profession, he’d approach it with the same level of dedication.
There’s also the matter of the physical ailment he’s trying to play through. It’s not the usual baseball injury, is it? Both the player and the team ought to be as careful as possible. This is a 35-year-old we’re talking about, with a life after baseball. I’d hate to see his determination backfire into something catastrophic (as if that could happen to a Met).
All that said, it’s clearly about the money. The Mets like getting those checks from the insurance company, this year and next. It’s a lot of money. To forfeit it for a few at-bats (I find the “he needs to come back as a complete player” jazz to be nonsense) is a legitimate if distasteful business consideration.
As a Mets fan, I will take my lead from David. If he thinks he can do it, if he’s not in agony, if he’s been putting in all this effort because playing baseball is what he does and what he’s contracted to do, I think it’s chintzy of the Mets to deny him the logical conclusion of his effort, which is playing baseball.
That, too, is part of doing business. Also, it’s a sport, for cryin’ out loud. David is being sporting about this. The Mets are being less so.
As for the notion that this is strictly about nostalgia, I don’t think so. Not for David, certainly. He’s an active player, as inactive as he’s been. He’s not Minnie Minoso coming out of retirement at the behest of Bill Veeck or something like that. It would certainly warm my sentimental heart to see No. 5 and No. 7 take the field together one last time, but I doubt that’s what’s driving the third baseman. If it was driving the Mets, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. He’d be on the roster already.
And let’s be real: the Mets are incapable of selling tickets for anything in September 2018. The modest bump they might (might) get from “oh boy, the Captain is back,” doesn’t measure up to whatever they’d be forfeiting in recovering on the insurance policy…neither of which should be our concern as fans, but baseball is indeed a business, our favorite team included.
In the end, when he does call it a day, we’ll remember David Wright for so much more than a month full of clouds. He was sunshine for so many seasons. No matter what happens, he shines on.
When looking at franchises, there just some players who matter more than others. Most people subscribe to this theory, the Wilpons included. How else could you explain all that they have done for Jose Reyes despite his proving for two years now he is no longer a Major League player.
In the end, when you look at how well the Mets treat Reyes, you have to ask why they are not extending the same courtesies to Wright. Certainly, with all that Wright has given the franchise, including his signing an under-market extension to stay and keep payroll at a level where the Mets could add additional pieces, he has done all that has been asked of him and more.
Right now, he just wants to play in front of his daughters. It’s a human request. One that should not fall on deaf ears. Ultimately, if Wright is not given this chance to at least end his career on the field instead of the trainer’s table, you may see a level of anger from Mets fans you have not seem in quite some time. I know I will be as angry as I’ve ever been.
In the end, we all hope to see Wright play again. Personally, I also hope you return the favor these excellent writers have given me by participating in this and other roundtables by visiting their sites.