David Wright spoke of a new day at his press conference yesterday, saying: “There’s a hundred different factors that went into this decision. But before any of them could be taken into consideration, number one had to be that commitment to winning. And, I got the answers that I wanted to hear.”
Oh, to be a fly on that wall. I wonder what questions Wright asked and what the Wilpon’s answers were. Wright didn’t say, but if I were him these are the questions I would ask:
1) “I am staying, which saves you from taking a PR hit. I am deferring money, so how are you going to spend it?”
2) O.K., you got a break in the Madoff case. How long will that continue to be a factor in not getting players to help me?”
3) “What is going on with R.A. Dickey? You do realize our pitching isn’t all that great to begin with and will be worse if he leaves, so are you going to sign him?”
4) “We all know Johan (Santana) is gone after this year, so how are you going to spend that $25 million in 2014?”
5) “We were eight games over .500 in the first half, but did nothing at the trade deadline. Why should I believe things will be any different this time around?”
6) “What took you so long to get rid of Oliver Perez and Jason Bay?”
7) “I hear Ike Davis might be on the block. True or not?”
8) Do you see the same concerns at catcher, the outfield and bullpen that I do?”
9) “If we’re a big market team, then how come the Washington Nationals are getting players to come to them?”
10) “You want me to recruit free agents. Well, what should I tell them that would make them want to come here?”
Wright will be one of those rare players who’ll spend his career with one team. After this deal is up, there’s no way he’ll go anywhere else. He’ll retire and become a team ambassador. He’ll show up at charity events like he does now and represent the front office in other capacities. Who knows, maybe he’ll invest some of those dollars in a minority ownership if the Wilpons are still selling them.
I doubt Wright asked any of those questions, even if they were on his mind. He said Jeff Wilpon’s tone and the look in his eyes seemed sincere. Well, sincerity doesn’t win championships. Actions do. Wright made a commitment to the Mets and their fan base.
In part, the Wilpons made a commitment to the fans by retaining Wright. But even with him, this is the same team that finished 14 games below .500. The commitment by the Wilpons and management needs to be greater.
Maybe they don’t have to have a $150 million payroll again, but $90 to $100 million won’t cut it in New York. The commitment by the Wilpons to the Mets fan base must be greater than that of their third baseman.