By Rich Coutinho
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When the news broke this morning courtesy of Ed Coleman that David Wright had agreed to a contract extension, Met fans in the tri-star area rejoiced and rightfully so.
I have known David Wright for almost ten years and I can safely say he embodies what a New York Met should be. He is a talented player who understands that talent without hard work yields no results. He also knows that New York is a tough town that will both be critical and loyal at the same time and David Wright embraces that.
The evolution of these negotiations was fascinating to me and it played out on Twitter all week long with Met fans weighing in on the pros and cons of signing Wright to this extension. To me, the issue was always a simple one: This is a home-grown player who deserved to be paid well for what he has done and what he will ultimately provide. I have always said that one day David Wright’s uniform number will forever reside on Citi Field’s left field wall mostly because of his numbers but also because of what he means to Met fans.
He grew up a Met fan–eats, sleeps, and drinks Mets–and that should not be overlooked. He always pays tribute to the great Mets of the past because he respects this organization and all it represents. And before you laugh at this notion, I can tell you David understands this organization that includes on its resume players like Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Nolan Ryan, Tug McGraw, Mike Piazza, Darryl Stawberry, Doc Gooden, Keith Hernandez, and Gary Carter is one that has a history and he feels honored to be a part of it.
Sure this contract was about the money too and $140 million is a lot of bucks which brings me to my next point. All I kept hearing all year is that the New York Mets are broke and on a shoestring budget. Teams with limited resources do not sign contracts like this. I am not an accountant but this deal indicates to me that the team’s finances are in much better shape than originally reported.
I still believe the Mets will proceed slowly in their spending habits this off-season, but I do think they will add a bat or 2 and some bullpen reinforcements before the season opens. And they will have to deal with the R.A. Dickey situation in short order.
But, those are debates and discussions for another day. Today is a day to feel good Met fans–your franchise player will be here for eight years and that is a great thing to celebrate as the Winter Meetings begin shortly.
Has any player in recent history embodied what the Mets are about more than David Wright? Let us know…