By Rich Coutinho
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Terry Collins knows how important David Wright is to the Mets, and that’s why removing him after D.J. Carrasco hit Ryan Braun with a pitch was the right thing to do.
“I told David that he wasn’t getting hurt,” said Collins. “Not on this night. I did not think for a moment that D.J. intentionally threw at him and I am not saying they were going to retaliate, but I was not going to chance anything because we know how important David Wright is to this team.”
The Mets manager was 100 percent correct. Now don’t get me wrong, I respect the fact that Wright wanted to face the music. But someone had to be the adult in the room.
After the game, once Wright had the chance to calm down, he understood.
“I love playing for Terry Collins and sometimes in the heat of the moment, things are said. But he is the manager and I understand where he is coming from,” said Wright in his postgame session with the media. I have probably been around the third baseman as long as anyone on this beat and sometimes people forget how competitive he is and how seriously he takes his responsibility of leadership.
In Wright’s mind, he knew what could be coming after Braun was hit, and that comes with the territory of being the “face of the franchise.” It’s a responsibility he accepted, but Collins had to put his foot down. Principles are one thing — landing on the disabled list is quite another. Aside from Johan Santana, Wright is the single most important player on the roster. Without him, the Mets’ offense would be stuck in neutral.
Collins was well aware of this and acted accordingly.
I also know that Wright respects the authority of his manager and always has, whether the man was Art Howe, Willie Randolph, Jerry Manuel or Collins. That’s in his DNA and was reinforced by being around guys like Mike Piazza, John Franco and Joe McEwing early in his career.
“He is the manager,” said Wright. “Terry and I are just fine. It was just a discussion we had in the heat of the moment.”
Even Braun, the man who was hit by the pitch, agreed with Collins when he said, “They did the right thing. David is one of my best friends in baseball and he’s their main guy. I totally think Terry Collins did the right thing.”
So do I.
And when Wright lets it all sink in, he will realize it was absolutely the right thing for his manager to do.
Where do you stand on the Collins-Wright debate? Be heard in the comments below…