I’ve advocated David Wright as Mets captain several times on this blog, first at the end of the 2006 season. There’s nobody else remotely close to consider, but like the others this would be an awkward time.
WRIGHT: Captain material.
Before, there was the fear of how much weight he would carry in a room that featured veterans Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado. Jose Reyes, you might recall gravitated toward Delgado for advice despite his well publicized friendship with Reyes.
Then, when Beltran was injured and everybody knew he was leaving, there was the risk of alienating the temperamental Reyes.
Reyes is gone now, but the Mets still aren’t moving, and won’t do so until Wright’s contract is resolved. How embarrassing would it be for the Mets to name Wright captain and have him leave as a free agent? That could only happen to the Mets.
Last year, Mets owner Fred Wilpon called David Wright: ”A really good kid. A very good player. Not a superstar.”
That was when Wright was struggling and before it was learned he played a month with a small fracture in his back.
Now healthy and stroking line drives at a near .400 clip, Wilpon said this morning Wright was “playing like a superstar.”
Wilpon made his comments this morning at City Hall with the announcement the Mets would host the 2013 All-Star Game.
It is becoming more and more likely that if Wright plays in the game, he will do so representing the Mets.
The organization still faces a mountain of debt, but stung over the criticism of not making an offer to Jose Reyes – they should have just for show – losing Wright would be a serious public relations flop.
The Mets will play the 8,000th game in their history tonight, starting Johan Santana against Miami.
SANTANA: One of the best.
I know there will be focus on Jose Reyes, but I’m bored with that topic. He’s gone, let’s move on, and move on to a better things, Santana for example.
Santana has been handled with kid gloves following a delicate shoulder surgery few have recovered from. It has taken a lot of hard, and painful, work for him to return, and he’s come back as a force.
Santana doesn’t yet have the outstanding command that made him an elite pitcher, but he’s heading in that direction as his arm gets stronger. Currently, his velocity is good enough to win with because his pitches have movement.
The Mets have spent a lot of money on Santana and will spend a lot more. He’s been a positive influence to others in the rotation, although Oliver Perez grasped the concept.
He’s been a pleasure to deal with and I hope he continues his come back strong.
Ruben Tejada has a strained right quad and within the last hour the Mets placed him on the disabled list. It looks as if they’ll play with Justin Turner until Ronny Cedeno comes off the disabled list.
TEJADA: Headed for DL (AP)
Already there have been postings about how the Mets now miss Jose Reyes. Where’s the news in that?
Tejada is injured and Reyes is gone, and let’s just say it was a mutual decision by both parties. We knew something would eventually happen that would bring Reyes back into the picture. He would either get hurt or struggle, or Reyes would go on a tear.
Well, it has happened. The Mets have kept it together well with Reyes gone, better than many expected. No sense in going back there as Reyes is not coming back.
As today’s game progressed there was a feeling the Mets would do something. When Miami went to its bullpen it was a lock, even when Heath Bell came on. Bell has never forgiven the Mets for letting him go and the thought was he’d get too amped and overthrow.
That’s what happened and Bell struggled with his command. After walking Justin Turner in a dramatic 13-pitch at-bat to force in the tying run, he looked spent and moments later Kirk Nieuwenhuis delivered a game-winning single to give the Mets a sweep of the Marlins, their third walk-off victory and sixth time they’ve come from behind to win this spring.
What does sweeping the Marlins mean?
NIEUWENHEIS: Delivers in the clutch.
There was concern how the Mets would do with their tough April schedule, but they’ve responded with 11 victories, including sweeps of Atlanta and Miami at home, and winning two of three in Philadelphia.
The Mets have played with grit and heart and showed they can be competitive within the division. They also sent out a message there is life after Jose Reyes.
This afternoon the Mets did nothing against Ricky Nolasco through seven innings, but were kept in the game by Jon Niese, who also worked seven strong innings. The Mets caught a huge break when first base umpire CB Bucknor blew the call and called Reyes out on a 3-6-3 double play. Replays showed Reyes was safe and the Marlins would have had another run.