Feb 17

Delcos Sunday Column: Wright Being The Mets’ Jeter

As usual, David Wright was attempting to be modest when he downplayed owner Fred Wilpon’s comments this week that he “is the Mets’ Derek Jeter.’’

Statistically, there’s not a comparison, in that Jeter has over 3,000 hits and five World Series rings and is a slam dunk Hall of Famer if he didn’t play another game. Unquestionably, he’s in on the first ballot. There’s no denying is greatness as a player.

As for Wright, he hits for more power, but will have to turn it on for the remainder of his contract if he’s to catch Jeter in a number of statistical categories.

As a clutch player, Jeter has few peers.

Defensively, both are good at their positions. Both can run.

Of course, Jeter has played longer and with a better team, so his numbers would be superior.

However, Wilpon wasn’t talking about statistics. Wilpon was referring to the intangibles both bring to their respective teams. These are qualities that can’t be measured.

Jeter is the Yankees’ captain and I expect Terry Collins to make a similar appointment to Wright, although neither needs an official designation to know they are the leaders of their teams.

When something happens in baseball or with their teams, both are sought after as being the player spokesman. Writers know articles with quotes from Wright and Jeter seem to be more authoritative. When you want the temperature of the Mets, one talks to Wright. When you want it of the Yankees, Jeter is the guy.

Both are players the younger guys look up, and both have no problems calling out somebody who doesn’t hustle or makes a mistake. When a pitcher needs calming down, you’ll see both go to the mound.

Both are the respective faces of their teams. Both are their current identities. Unquestionably, both are the players the fans pay to see.

Both have the intangibles you can see and feel, but there is no statistical measure.

And, you can’t imagine either in another team’s uniform. That’s why free agency never really applied to either. Despite his coy references, you knew Jeter wasn’t going anywhere.

And, despite the Mets’ economic crunch, I never had the feeling Wright would leave on his own. Jeter will retire a Yankee and go to the Hall of Fame. Wright will retire a Met, and if he finishes the second half of his career like the first half, he too, should see Cooperstown.

That’s what Wilpon meant.

Jul 01

David Wright Loses Fan Vote

There are so many things screwed up with the All-Star process, not the least of which is the fans voting. When you can sit at your computer and click on to a player’s name 10,000 times plus is just plain wrong.

WRIGHT: Loses fan vote.

Pablo Sandoval is a wonderful player, but David Wright is having a better season, and it isn’t close. The Mets, for several reasons, aren’t drawing significantly, and that’s a major reason. Then again, the Yankees are drawing and with two teams in NYC one would think there would be a trickle down effect. Just goes to reinforce the notion one is either a Met or Yankee fan. For the most part anyway.

Wright is in as an alternate, and R.A. Dickey is in, but there’s something special about starting the game. Wright doesn’t get that honor this year, and you never know what the future brings.

I’m not saying I have the answer to this, but there’s a flaw in the current system. I’d like to see the best players get the starting role. I mean, if the game is supposed to count, then the best players should be in. At least, that makes the most sense to me.

 

Jun 22

What Was Frank Francisco Thinking?

What was Frank Francisco thinking when he called the Yankees chickens? Evidently, not too much.

Inciting the opposition makes no sense, and he wasn’t backing down this afternoon.

Francisco called the Yankees chronic complainers – MLB’s Miami Heat? – and laid into them again.

“I made a simple comment because, you know, they complain a lot — for every call, for everything,” Francisco said. “I thought it was funny. But I didn’t expect to make a big deal. Whatever.

“Now I’ve got to apologize to everybody. I mean the whole Yankee team. … No, I’m kidding. … I said what I said, and I’m not sorry. That’s what I think. I think they complain too much for everything. You guys haven’t watched the games? You guys don’t see it? Every game.”

No, it doesn’t make sense to aggravate the opposition, but you have to admire Francisco for not backing down and standing up to his comments.

Jul 13

Steinbrenner passes; his legacy endures.

“It was a beautiful thing to observe, all 36 oars working in unison.’’ – late Cardinals announcer Jack Buck quipping he had seen George Steinbrenner’s yacht.

It is a timeless quote about a timeless subject, George M. Steinbrenner, the demonstrative, cantankerous and blustery owner of the New York Yankees, who died today of a heart attack at age 80.

STEINBRENNER: Always King George

Buck’s comment has long been the perception of Steinbrenner by the public through screaming headlines and video and audio sound bites. The man was positively driven to win and it didn’t matter the cost in dollars or whom he stepped on. The Yankees would throw millions at players, and if they didn’t win Steinbrenner was ruthless in his handling of his managers and front office staff.

It was that way from the day he purchased the Yankees in 1973 for less than $10 million from CBS and said: “I won’t be active in the day-to-day operation of the Yankees. I’ll stick to building ships.’’

What he did was rebuilt the dynasty – twice.

By the time I started covering the Yankees in 1998, Steinbrenner’s legacy was well cemented in that he revived a struggling team and turned professional sports’ most revered franchise to a billion dollar empire.

The Yankees Brand is world-renowned and that is Steinbrenner’s legacy on the grand scale, but for me I’ll remember him like most beat reporters for the exhilarating paces he put us through.

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Jun 18

Mets Chat Room: Round two vs. Yankees.

The Mets were struggling, in last place in the NL East when they played the Yankees for the first time at Citi Field in May.

Game #67 at Yankees

They won two of three, then shutout the Phillies in a three-game sweep, and have gone 15-6 since to pull within a half game of Atlanta.

The Mets are looking to extend their winning streak to eight games – for the second time this season – when they face the Yankees tonight at the Stadium.

Hisanori Takahashi vs. Javier Vazquez.

“When you go to play the defending world champions, you’ve got to be playing good baseball,’’ said manager Jerry Manuel. “I feel good about the way we’re playing.’’

He ought to, as the Mets will be trying for their seventh straight road win tonight. The last time they won that many was in June, 2006, when they peeled off nine straight on the road.

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