La Face

By Taryn “The Coop” Cooper

I, for one, am sick of the whole “This is David Wright’s team” talk.  I get the conversation but it just doesn’t work with the Mets.  People are quick to point to the milquetoast infielder like that other dude in the boring Bronx who won a couple championships with a few solid (sometimes lucky) teams.

But Davey is kind of an oddity.  He was seen as a savior for the franchise at a time when they were a few years removed from a World Series trip, but still treated as a “win-now” team.  One of the few productive things that Steve Phillips ever did as Mets general manger (besides trade for and sign Mike Piazza) was use his comp pick for Mike Hampton to get David Wright.

But the Mets have failed David Wright in so many ways.  Wright succeeds when he’s got a good supporting cast.  While he’s had protection in the lineup from the likes of Carloses Delgado or Beltran, it also backfired in that he didn’t have positive reinforcements around him on the team.  Davey is often panned for being so plain vanilla but the reality is, he didn’t have good leadership when he would see someone as imposing as Delgado take credit when the team was good, then run and hide when he had a bad game (just ask Billy Wagner about that one).

Then pairing up David Wright and Jose Reyes may have been a blessing or a curse.  Our own Matty Faz wrote about the Faux Dynasty a few months back.  I, for one, was ready to part ways with Davey a while ago.  Nothing against him, personally.  I just thought he wasn’t much of a leader, and that he would do better in a smaller market.  I thought Reyes would have been a better leader or someone to build around.

Till Reyes was no longer a Met.

Now we’re at a point where it’s put-up-or-shut-up.  For Davey, that is.  He’s got one year on his contract, but the terms are so onerous that if the Mets were to trade him that the team getting him in return would be getting a half-year rental, since the option for 2013 would be null-and-void.

Yet, a few weeks ago, Sandy Alderson made a remark that the Mets may be in a position to make some significant financial investments to raise payroll.  Which suggests to me that outside of the Jonathon Niese extension, that he’s looking to invest in another name.  Another face.

And that face is David Wright.

I’ve always hated that.  Thought it put an undue amount of pressure on him, and that he couldn’t perform that way.  Yet, without the pressure of “will he or won’t he (sign, that is)” drama with Jose Reyes, and the pressure of “win now,” he seems to be more himself in these last four games.  The Davey of old.

And I saw something on Sunday.

David Wright consoling teammate Jon Niese after he gives up first hit of game to Atlanta Braves in sixth inning, 4/8/2012

He wants his teammates to do well. It always seemed insincere to me in the past, but this time seemed incredibly genuine.

To my earlier chagrin, David Wright is the face of the New York Mets now.  However, it seems like for once he’s ready to embrace this role.


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