Despite handing out gifts to 100 school children dressed in a hot Santa outfit, David Wright still talked for over 10 minutes with several bloggers at the Mets Holiday party on Tuesday.
Wright played Santa for the second time, with the last time being back in 2006.
It’s hard to believe, but Wright will now be playing for his fourth different manager heading into his eighth season for the Mets.
“The good and the bad thing about New York is that we expect winning now,” said Wright. “When that doesn’t happen unfortunately for some very good people, change happens. If you’ve played here, if you’ve coached here, if you’ve lived here, or if you’ve attended baseball games here, you understand that this is a ‘what have you done for me lately?’ town, and they expect winning products each and every year.”
Wright discussed the new regime and said that he is excited for the start of the season. He stressed that Sandy Alderson focuses on discipline, and discipline is underrated in the game of baseball. After playing for three rather low key managers in Art Howe, Willie Randolph and Jerry Manuel, Wright welcomes a fiery presence in the clubhouse.
“With Sandy’s vision and Terry’s incredible passion that he brings, I’m looking forward to getting spring training started,” said Wright. “Terry seems very energetic and ready to go, and I think that’s a good thing because players need a kick in the butt. I think Terry won’t be afraid to do that.”
It’s obvious that Wright will miss Howard Johnson as the team’s hitting coach. They developed a personal relationship, and Wright was very thankful for his services and wishes HoJo well.
“He knows my swing just as well as I do,” said Wright.
We then talked about the Cliff Lee signing and how it affects the Mets. Wright brought up some good points that we as Mets fans must take some stock in moving forward.
“I still think we have good players,” said Wright. “Just because we didn’t add any of those big names, there are still players to be had out there for lower price tags.
“Once you get on the field it’s a different story,” said Wright. “You go out there and compete and that’s the beautiful thing about baseball. You don’t win games on paper. The highest payrolls don’t necessarily translate to wins on the field.”
From there, the conversation turned to the Mets current starting pitching and how they can fill the huge void left by Johan Santana. Wright identified the need for starting pitching and said that guys will have to step up and fill in when needed. He cautioned that it won’t be just one guy, like Mike Pelfrey, taking Santana’s place.
“I don’t think it’s fair to put that weight on Pelfrey’s shoulders,” said Wright. “Realistically, Pelfrey pitches once every fifth day. It’s going to have to be more of a combined effort by the pitching staff to pick up that load.”
As previously mentioned, Wright is entering his eighth season with the Mets. He has amassed some impressive statistics and is closing in on some Mets records. Still, he is more focused on winning than on his individual play.
“I’m very pessimistic when it comes to judging my play,” said Wright. “Instead of worrying about the hits that I got, I’m more upset at the hits I didn’t get.”
Wright is eager to get off to great start this season to try to turn the struggling Mets around. As a fan, it was nice to hear Wright say that he is not content with how the team has played and wants to get back on the winning track. It won’t be easy, especially this year, but the team has the pieces to accomplish its goals over the new few years.
“As of now, it’s unfinished business,” said Wright. “I haven’t won anything. We have a division title and really that’s it. And that’s not enough. That doesn’t make me happy one bit.”