LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – David Wright told me yesterday how much Curtis Granderson will mean to the New York Mets on the field and in the clubhouse.
One thing Wright will never admit is, as team captain, whether he ever felt he was drained by being “the man’’ and if Granderson would alleviate pressure. Doing so would admit feeling the pressure. That’s something he’s never done, and won’t ever. It isn’t in his professional DNA.
WRIGHT: Handles pressure.
Manager Terry Collins can read a player by looking into his eyes and watching body language. He was asked if he ever sees a sign of mental fatigue from Wright.
“The answer is no, I don’t,’’ Collins said. “David Wright is the consummate pro. He knows exactly what’s expected, deals with it, and he deals with it with a smile.’’
There are times when he tries to carry the Mets on his shoulders. He’s done that for years, but team leaders always fall into that trap. That’s what team leaders do.
“Does he once in a while try to be the guy? Yes,’’ Collins said. “But he’s supposed to because he is the guy. That’s why I think he’s a great player.’’
When the Mets need a key hit, Wright often delivers. He has a .375 average and 1.123 OPS when the Mets win and .243 average and .700 OPS when they lose. He hits .295 with men on base and .284 with runners in scoring position. His .407 on-base percentage with runners in scoring position is indicative of teams pitching around him.
Since Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado left, Wright has been the go-to guy for the Mets in critical situations. He’s always said he relishes those situations.
“You know, when the game is on the line, you look and guys are turning to David Wright to be the guy that comes through,’’ Collins said. “I think he handles it great.’’
Granderson, despite his propensity for striking out, hit over 80 homers in 2011-2012. When he hit 41 homers in 2011, his home-road breakdown was 21-20, so he can hit outside of Yankee Stadium. Granderson is not an easy out, so pitchers might be less reluctant to pitch around Wright, at least in theory.
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