For years, Jose Reyes would be considered the “spark plug” of the Mets; the man to light up the basepaths, and the dugout. Now with Reyes trying to find his spark in Miami, the Mets were supposed to be lacking such a catalyst both on and off the field come 2012. Turns out, the true spark of this franchise was just waiting to catch fire all along. His name: David Wright.
In 2012 to this point, we have seen Wright mature greatly. I say this not because of his .408 batting average, his reduced strikeouts or his 1.105 OPS, I say this because of his calming pitchers down on the mound, his pulling players aside to talk to them, his hard play and his never-say-die attitude. Wright has always been a nose-to-the-grind type player, but this year especially he is clicking on all cylinders after several years of struggling.
This was perfectly exemplified by Wright’s actions last night when Terry Collins removed him form the game to protect him from getting hit after DJ Carrasco plunked Ryan Braun in the top of the inning. After getting pulled, Wright confronted Collins saying “If anybody gets hit, I want it to be me”, who responded with “I’m sorry, it isn’t going to be you.” Wright then stormed down the clubhouse stairs, only to come up soon after to talk it over with Collins and remain at the top step of the dugout for the remainder of the ballgame.
Last night showed a lot about David Wright. Already suffering a broken pinkie and hitting the best in his career, Wright had a heated debate with his manager about staying in the game facing a very probable plunking and possible further injury. This showed just how much Wright is committed to winning and to this team. He not only said to Collins in front of everyone that he wants to be the one hit with a 95 mph fastball, but then came back into the dugout, talked it over with the manager in-game rather than after, and stayed at the top step of the dugout for the remainder of the ballgame. He is passionate, plays hard and above all; a winner. He cares about this team and isn’t just playing for a contract as many have speculated; and last night was a prime example of that.
He deserves to remain a Met for the rest of his career and one day have a big number 5 in left field in his honor. For now however, –as Matthew Cerrone pointed out last night on twitter– David Wright deserves a big “C” stitched to his chest, because whether it’s official or not; the Mets have a leader, a captain and most of all a sparkplug again; and his name is David Wright.