By Rich Coutinho
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For as many clubhouses as I’ve been in over the past 20 years, few players have stood out as truthful, honest and passionate about the game they play.
David Wright is one of those guys.
When you spend time with Wright, you realize he is “old school.” By that I mean he’s a star who still gets to the ballpark before anyone and leaves after everyone. That’s because he knows he has to get his work in, and also understands his responsibility to set an example for the younger players.
This morning I had a chance to speak with him about the state of the team and several things stood out. They include:
- He has not enjoyed being a “punchline,” or “The other team in New York,” and is determined to help turn it around and win.
- He loves being a Met and all that it represents. He grew up a Mets fan and his best friends in life all have a connection to the Mets.
- It will be strange to not see Jose Reyes at shortstop — but the reality is Ruben Tejada has talent. It is his responsibility to help Tejada just as other veteran Mets helped him early in his career.
- All of the outside stuff is out there, like the team’s finances, but he honestly blocks it out. Wright is cognizant that expectations are low outside the clubhouse but he feels the Mets will embrace that role, play hard, and hopefully succeed.
- The presence of Johan Santana is key to the 2012 Mets and his body language indicates he is ready to return and contribute.
- The four bats in the middle of the lineup — Duda, Davis, Bay and himself — have a real chance to be a good quartet of power hitters.