NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Two of New York’s brightest stars will take the stage on Thursday night when Team USA takes on the Dominican Republic at Marlins Park in Miami.
We’re talking about the Yankees’ Robinson Cano and the Mets’ David Wright, of course.
Wright has been dubbed “Captain America” for this exceptional play thus far in the World Baseball Classic. The face of the Mets leads all WBC players with 10 RBIs, and has gone 7-for-16 with a homer and two doubles.
The media, fans and even front-office personnel member have taken to the new nickname for Wright. Mets vice president of media relations Jay Horwitz, always know for his clownishness, dressed up as Captain America in honor of the star third baseman.
“All the place cards on all the tables, they superimposed my head on Captain America,’’ Wright said, according to the New York Post. “It was funny. I think these guys are about as tired of hearing it as everybody else.’’
Cano has led the way for the D.R., going 12-for-19 with six RBIs and five runs scored. He’s hit four doubles, two homers and tallied 22 total bases.
But both Wright and Cano know that it’s not about statistics and personal achievements; rather, it’s about leading their countries to the promised land.
“Obviously, the adrenaline gets pumping for this tournament,” Wright said after the United States’ victory over Puerto Rico, according to MLB.com. “You wear that uniform, and as I mentioned before, you want to go out there and represent your country.”
Cano, like Wright, has become a leader for the Dominican Republic squad. Following his country’s big win over Italy on Tuesday, the four-time All-Star acknowledged that he’s embraced his all-important leadership role.
“My interest is to win and the interest is in the team, and I’m proud to be in the team and a leader,” Cano said. “We’re really having a good time.”
Team USA manager Joe Torre has been extraordinarily impressed with the play of Wright, and has also marveled at how Cano has thrived in the spotlight. It’s something that New Yorkers should really appreciate, Torre believes.
“Well, you know, sometimes I don’t think New York realizes how lucky they are to have the players that they have had over the years,” Torre said. “Being a New Yorker myself, you sort of take it for granted. The most impressive thing, and the thing that I think the fans obviously embrace, is the fact that they both play well under pressure.”
Who’s your pick for tonight’s game? Sound off with your thoughts and predictions in the comments section below…