Saturday morning, most Met fans woke up preparing for another line-up announcement without the longest tenured Met, David Wright, in the three-hole. In fact, most Met fans were waiting to hear whether Zach Lutz or Josh Satin would replace David once he went on the disabled list. All of a sudden, reports poured in that David Wright took batting practice and declared himself ready to go for Saturday’s 4 o’clock start time. Is he indeed ready? Or is this going to be another Mets injury blunder where our third baseman ends up with a torn forearm or something and is out for the year?
Turns out, David was not only ready, but extremely willing and able to perform at his highest level. His swing was not tinkered with and on the first pitch Wright saw, he swung and sent the baseball inches to the right of the yellow line in the ivy of Citizens Bank’s center field (a sign our luck is turning?) After the home run, our third baseman went on to have a 3 for 5 day and knocked two more hits during Sunday’s 8-2 loss as well. He is as hot to start the season as one could imagine, hitting .571 with 2 HR, 5 RBI, an OBP of .615 and a Slugging Percentage of .857, making his OPS an astounding 1.473.
After a few rough seasons, where almost everything was blamed for Wright’s declining numbers, David apparently hit the reset button this offseason, going back to his high school coach, who told Wright point-blank, “You’ve gotten away from what made you successful.” Now, his swing is level again, he is placing the ball all around the field and, so far during this hot streak, is not susceptible to that outside breaking ball, which had helped to drive his strike out numbers up the past few years. Yes, the psychology of the ballpark and the shorter fences might have something to do with it, but after years of us forcing the leadership role onto the man, David Wright finally looks comfortable as the face of this franchise, and I believe he should be locked up for the remainder of his career.
During this offseason, many people wondered whether the Mets would look to trade David Wright at some point during the summer. I brought the topic up here, explaining my on-the-fence position regarding the matter. Besides the fact, considering his contract, he would be a rental player for any team trading for him, we as Met fans tend to give up on players way too early and drive them out of town. Ed Kranepool is the only long-tenured player who spent his entire 18-year career with the Mets. Extending David Wright as he shows he is finally the true leader of this ball team would go a long way towards repairing the perception disenchanted fans have with the Metropolitans.
It is only nine games into the season and David Wright has proven in the past to be a streaky player. He has, however, been a fantastic “ambassador” for our Orange and Blue and, for once, it would be extremely refreshing to have someone a Met for life. While I have had a love-hate relationship with David Wright over the course of my Met fandom, it would be nice to have that Met-for-life have as sweet a swing as that sweet David Wright Swing.
Lock him up, Mets.