The Cardinals didn’t make the post-season this year but I don’t expect them to be trading Pujols. The Rockies didn’t make it either but somehow I don’t see them shopping Troy Tulowitzki. The Padres just missed but I am pretty confident they’ll hang on to Adrian Gonzalez. So, why oh why, would the Mets be willing to ‘listen to offers’ for David Wright?
This past Monday I watched Kevin Burkhardt’s candid interview with Fred Wilpon. It was insightful and refreshing to see our owner’s human side mixed with his business approach to running a baseball team. However, the one thing that disturbed me was his willingness to put everyone on the table. When Burkhardt mentioned specific players (Santana, Reyes and Wright), Wilpon’s response was less then reassuring. ‘If a dramatic move like that would get us five pieces,’ Wilpon said, ‘maybe that’s the thing to do.’
To us fans, the Mets are a passion, a lifetime commitment. But we also realize it’s a business. Just like CEO’s of General Motors, FedEx or Microsoft are concerned with the bottom line, so is Fred Wilpon.
Jose Reyes is my favorite player on the Mets and to see him playing elsewhere would be heartbreaking. But from a business point of view I can understand it. I wouldn’t like it, but I can understand it. He has battled injuries for 2 straight seasons and people are starting to wonder. Carlos Beltran has been unjustly crucified since arriving in New York. I’d hate to see Beltran go, but I can see that decision—from a business point of view. The same can be said of Johan who has spent a decent amount of time on the DL and wears down late every season.
But David Wright???
Although I completely disagree one can argue that Reyes, Beltran and Santana have not earned their money. However, David Wright has done everything we’ve asked of him. And more.
Without a doubt he is the best hitter to ever wear a Mets uniform. He’s our all-time leader in doubles, 2nd in career batting average, 3rd slugging and hits, 4th in HR’s and OBP. Next year he will become our all-time leader in Runs and RBI’s. And lets throw in a couple of gold gloves and 5 All-Star games for good measure. Opening Day next year David will only be 29.
Whereas Reyes and Beltran unfairly have their ‘toughness’ called into question, David Wright is reliable. Since becoming our every day 3b-man in 2005, he has averaged 156 games. Again I say, he’s done everything we’ve asked.
Many fans and fellow bloggers, myself included, have attacked David for his lack of leadership. We keep waiting for him to assume that role a la Keith Hernandez. It’s becoming pretty evident, however, that it is not in his makeup. And that’s fine. Not every great player was a team leader. David’s also been criticized for striking out way too much. True. But so did guys named Reggie and Mickey and Babe.
Filling 4 or 5 holes in exhange for Wright may seem good on the surface. But I disagree. I recall a time when the Mets made a trade and got back 2 young OFers with lots of upside, a solid defensive 2nd baseman and a tall, lanky RHP. However, I don’t think many would consider the Seaver trade a high point in our history.
After we traded The Franchise this entire organization went into a nosedive that lasted nearly a decade. Attendance dropped and Shea became nicknamed Grant’s Tomb. Lets not make that same mistake again.
Not since the likes of Darryl Strawberry have the Mets had a player with the ability and talent I see in David Wright. A player with these gifts comes along once in a generation. I really don’t feel like waiting another two decades to see it again. I’d like to be able to cheer for David NOW–and not in 20 years when we welcome him back for Old-Timers Day.
It appears to be a forgone conclusion we will do some major overhauling this winter. We all expect the Mets to embark on a campaign of rebuilding. But when Fred Wilpon claims that he will listen to offers, I ask him to put in ear plugs and don’t listen.
You don’t build a winner by getting rid of David Wright; you build a winner around David Wright.