By Taryn “The Coop” Cooper
Can the Mets do anything right?
This could be read as rhetorical or one that we can give an educated response to. Either way, it could be interpreted past, present and most importantly, the future of the franchise.
Mostly, though as Mets geeks (as we all are, on some kind of level) need to look at the history of the team. One of the most storied guys in the franchise is a hometown, homegrown Met lifer who was average in every way but held many Mets records to this day because of the mediocre history of the team (sorry Kranepool Society, but tis true).
The other guy is someone who SHOULD have been a Met lifer, but was traded because of (ta da!) contractual and money issues. The other two are managers with one who is celebrated for having a subpar team and the other a dude who brought the Mets to their first championship but otherwise was mediocre.
On the flip side, the most successful manager in Mets history is not honored at all.
If there is nothing more Metsian than that, I can’t think of anything else. Honoring mediocrity is something the Mets do best.
Yet from the same franchise that let go of their own franchise player without much of a fight, it’s interesting to see the damned-if-you-do or damned-if-you-don’t obligatory infighting that occurs with a player like David Wright. And to a lesser degree, R.A. Dickey.
Let’s take aim at the sentimental value of David Wright. Yes, you read that right: SENTIMENTAL value. I have an idea of what he’s “worth” but the amount of goodwill and name association with the franchise is probably worth a lot more than whatever money you could spend on him.
When I look at other third basemen in baseball, and I include Alex Rodriguez who should be a shortstop (and will probably be a glorified DH in the twilight of his career), there is no one better than David Wright. I have given him grief over the years, and have even made the educated statement of “blowing the f**ker up” re: the team. Blowing it all up means parting ways with David Wright.
We all know that this team is more than just one or two guys away from a championship. We’re waiting for young dudes to mature and maybe plug in a veteran who can be low-risk and high-reward. You know, the complete opposite of Jason Bay. Until then, I was at an impasse as to what to do with David Wright.
Then it kind of hit me. As Steve Keane so eloquently said in his post today, Tom Seaver isn’t going to be around forever. David Wright is the franchise player, not just “The Franchise.” No one will take that away from Seaver, ever. But DW is the next generation. He’s one of us.
A contract for David Wright is more than just years and money. It’s the sentimental value of what he means to the organization or what it WILL mean for the organization.
This guy wants to be a Met. He’s broken the hits record held for 900 years by Ed Kranepool, he’ll be on the leaderboards for years to come with this contract, and it pretty much means that he’ll retire a Met (I don’t see him pulling a T#m Gl@v!ne later in his career, as our Faith and Fearless leader Greg Prince would say, and leaving to go to Phillies or Braves which is…you know…blasphemous). Davey has let us know he doesn’t care about the money; he wants to be a Met.
Whether you think he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread or not, he’s a Met. He should be a Met lifer. This is sentimental value and true value.
Sign him up. It will Wright several wrongs that this franchise has done to its fanbase over the years and finally FINALLY show that it’s going forward on the right (or Wright, if you want to be pun-tastic) direction.