The playing days of David Wright with the Mets are over, but his career with the franchise is just beginning.
Mets fans of all ages will be tuned in to David Wright‘s final game in a New York Mets uniform as an active player Saturday night. But don’t think for a moment this is the last we’ll see of this Mets icon. In fact, in many ways, the future for David Wright is even brighter than his glorious past as a player…
In baseball vernacular, David Wright is known among his peers as a baseball rat. He lives and breathes the game. Always has, and he always will. There’s no other way, for instance, to explain the torment he put his body, and maybe more significantly, his head, through for the past two years when he rehabbed himself to the point where he can take that precious final swing in the batter’s box tomorrow night.
All of which suggests that David Wright will not be one of those players who will leave the game behind him, walking away to engage in opening a string of car washes or the David Wright Steakhouse.
There’s also the matter of dollars. According to Spotrac, Wright is owed $27 million over the next two years, a portion of which the New York Mets will need to cover after the insurance policy kicks in to account for Wright’s disability.
It’s a situation that reminds of Alex Rodriguez when he prematurely left the game with money due on the backend of his contract with the Yankees. In that case, the Yankees kicked Rodriguez upstairs with a glorified title, along with an agreement that A-Rod appear, instruct, and mentor players during Spring Training for the next umpteen years.
David Wright can do much more though, and if the Mets realize the golden nugget before them, he will. The possibilities are endless, beginning with the low end of the scale which is keeping David Wright in the clubhouse as a coach.
It’s no secret that as soon as Wright returned to the team following his aborted schedule of rehab games in the minors, the Mets looked and played like a different team. The accolades from his teammates (Sporting News) come swiftly and forcefully regarding what David Wright means to the Met’s franchise. He’s one a kind (career highlights video tells all).
From there, you can go right up the line to find other roles Wright can fill in the Mets organization. Is there anyone, for instance, who can’t see Wright as the manager of the New York Mets? After all, the trend in baseball is to hire “player’s managers” who can communicate in the style of the 21st Century with their charges efficiently and effectively. Alex Cora with the Red Sox, Gabe Kapler with the Phillies, Aaron Boone, and the Yankees, and the list winds on.
Would this be somewhat awkward, considering the Mets have little reason to push Mickey Callaway aside? Sure, but again we’re talking about the Babe Ruth of the Mets franchise in David Wright. Besides, Callaway’s real strength may ultimately be his unquestioned ability to work with a pitching staff.
How about David Wright as the General Manager of the Mets? He’s raw and would need some hands-on training and mentoring, but who better to perform that task than John Ricco? Soon, the Mets are expected to scour the market and hire a replacement for Sandy Alderson. Why bother when you have an answer in-house with a boatload of baseball acumen and knowledge?
All of which assumes that David Wright wishes to remain connected to baseball in some capacity. Recently, Wright was quoted by the New York Times, saying “I would like to stay involved in some capacity, but I’m not sure how that’s going to be.” So that’s one shoe on, and all that’s left is for the Mets to put the other one on in reaching an agreement with Wright and his family.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity presented to the Mets, and they can’t screw this one up. David Wright is not Derek Jeter, and he does not have visions of grandeur to be the Michael Jordan of baseball like Jeter. Wright is a New York Met through and through.
The New York Mets need a shot in the arm to get over the hump for next season following the disappointment of 2018. Wright has stated his intentions and desires. Now, the ball shifts over to the Mets…