By Rich Coutinho
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New York, NY (WFAN) – I must admit that I was pretty adamant about putting David Wright on the disabled list but I would foolish not to recognize the message he sent to his teammates here in Philadelphia. When I left my hotel this morning, I was pretty sure David Wright would not be in the lineup and even surer that he would not hit a homer in the deepest part of Citizens Bank Park. But that is exactly what happened.
And do not think for a moment that his performance was not inspiring to his teammates. “He is incredible, and to hit a home run in the very first inning was just inspiring.” says Jonathan Niese who got his second win of the young season. Think about this for a moment — Wright played with a fractured pinky on his top hand (the hand that does most of the work at the plate) and drilled the first pitch he saw out of the ballpark against a team most Met fans view as “Public Enemy #1”.
If that is not leadership, I do not know what is. And I know people today like vocal leaders–guys that throw over buffet tables or criticize their teammates–but David Wright is the best kind of leader there is. He is player who loves playing for the Mets and shows it every waking moment-on and off the field. He knows the Met locker room is filled with young players who look up to him because he is a star that came up through the organization. And he takes that responsibility very seriously.
“When a guy plays with a broken finger, all of a sudden everybody’s minor bumps and bruises seem a lot more minor,” says Terry Collins. “For David I am so happy he got back in the lineup especially after what happened to him last year.”
Which brings me to a very important point–there were people out there questioning David Wright when he missed 3 games with a BROKEN bone. Is that what this world of Twitter has become? It sickened me to see that because I know how much Wright cares about this team and how much he wants to win.
And that is why Wright IS the face of this franchise, much in the same way Derek Jeter is the face of the Yankees. I know that Wright has not had the trips down Canyon of Heroes but he embodies what a Met should be. Hard working, humble, and putting the team ahead of himself. Despite my disdain for the Yankees, I’ve always admired that in Jeter and Wright has that secret sauce.
The Met organization might be wise to recognize that because Wright was born a Met — he should remain a Met and he should retire a Met. Days like today in Philadelphia validate that fact and Wright has had plenty of days like today.