Do the New York Mets need a new captain?

CaptainThis past Monday the New York Mets were trailing by one run in the bottom of the ninth inning to the San Francisco Giants looking to split the four game series. With two out and no one on, who steps up to the plate but the one batter we all have had faith in time and time again for the past few seasons and more particularly, this season, Daniel Murphy.

It wasn’t always that way, though. For several years the fans and the team alike have looked to one player to be that unifying force that will step up and not just lead but respond to the pressure of big situations. That player has been David Wright. For the past few years, however, he has been anything but clutch.

This season, like the past few, he has had nagging injuries to play his way through. As our own Patrick Albanesius wrote the other day, his shoulder, by Wright’s own admission, has been an issue. Wright is batting ,270 with eight home runs and 54 RBI. Nowhere close to the numbers we’re used to and certainly not what we expect from the captain of our team.

Murphy, in comparison, is batting .302 with nine home runs and 48 RBI. While the home runs and RBI totals are similar, the batting average is much wider with Murphy carrying a distinct advantage. Furthermore, Murphy has a .347 on base percentage and a .437 slugging percentage compared to Wright’s .328 and .385 respectively.

In addition, Murphy has 62 strikeouts to Wright’s 88. Murphy has worked hard to become the hitter he is today and equally hard to be an adequate fielder. He began the season standing up to management and media by choosing his family over his career when his wife was giving birth during the season opener. He redeemed himself by hitting his way onto the All Star team for the first time in his career.

While it’s easy to recognize why David Wright is a fan favorite (grew up a Mets fan, drafted by the team, etc), just being a fan favorite isn’t reason enough to be a captain. He works hard off the field to be the face of the franchise. He keeps his nose clean and his name out of the headlines.

However, it may be time for the team to realize that his best years are possibly behind him and there are others worthy of the captain moniker as well. Murphy has worked just as hard off the field and has been equally successful in keeping out of trouble.

Perhaps the captainship could be shared as it has been in the past. At the very least, the team needs to show Murphy the respect that he has earned and sign him long-term. He has shown that he more than deserves that. He is part of the present team success and should be part of the future team plans and not just as trade bait.

It’s time for the team to embrace other players as the face of their franchise. One of those faces they should consider is Daniel Murphy.

14 comments for “Do the New York Mets need a new captain?

  1. Name
    August 7, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Is it April Fool’s Day already?

    Facepalm.

  2. August 7, 2014 at 10:08 am

    You diminish his value and what he means to this franchise if you “demote” Wright. It’s his decision He is irreplaceable and still the heart and soul of this team. Wright has earned this privilege and only he should make that decision. Murphy may not even be here next season.

  3. Marc Melton
    August 7, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Wright is only the 4th team captain in Mets history. Captains in MLB are extremely rare. Who says a captain has to be the best player on the team? It should be a player a team feels best represents their organization.

    Wright may be having a subpar offensive season, but it’s not as bad as you think it is. He’s still above average according to wRC+ (103) his wOBA (.314) is right around league average (.320). It seems like he’s getting under balls just a bit, or not connecting like he used to and it couldbe because he is hurt. HIs HR/FB % is WAY down, more than half his career avg. 6.5% this year compares to 13.2% for his career. The avg MLB rate is about 12%. If he got his up to 9% (that’s still 4% below his career avg) his stats would change tremendously.

    6.5 % – 8 homers .385 SLG, .713 OPS (current)
    9.0 % – 11 homers .413 SLG, .741 OPS (example)
    12% – 15 homers, .451 SLG, .779 OPS (league average)
    13.2% – 16 homers, .460 SLG, .787 OPS (career average)

    I think he’s playing hurt. You don’t often see a players HR/FB rate drop by half in 1 season unless they are hurt or move to an extreme pitchers park.

    However, his defense is still stellar. a defensive WAR of 1.6 is no joke.

  4. NYM
    August 7, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Lol no. Murphy has had a better year than Wright but his on the field contributions overall career wise pale in comparison to Wright. Wright is one of the greatest Mets of all time. Daniel Murphy is a nice player. Even if Wright was putting up Murph numbers (and he was before the ASB…their numbers were very similar) it’d still be considered a bad year for Wright.

    The captaincy doesn’t really mean anything anyway it’s an honorary position with no tangible responsibilities but Wright got that “honor” for being here for so long and being a great player, role model etc. There were plenty of years Jeter wasn’t the Yanks best hitter and he’s still been their “captain”

    Also Murphy didn’t “stand up to the management” in order to go be with his wife for the birth of his child. The Mets were fully supportive. Murph just said he didn’t care that some radio blowhards criticized him for leaving the team. Not sure what that would have to do with captaincy anyway

  5. NormE
    August 7, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Frank, I appreciate the time and effort it takes to write these articles. It must be difficult to come up with a fresh angle to create interest. However, this article must be classified as overreach. The Captaincy of the Mets is not an issue. The real issue is whether DW is covering up an injury that is impacting his performance or
    has he reached that proverbial cliff’s edge where his abilities to perform at an all-star lever or behind him?

    • Frank
      August 7, 2014 at 9:37 pm

      Thank you for weighing in and your points. I do believe it’s more than just injuries. He is past his prime and we need to lower our expectations. Part of those expectations come from that c on his uniform.

  6. Steve L
    August 7, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Jeter’s no longer even an average MLB player. Should they Yankees remove him as captain?

    Seriously, Wright was an MVP candidate two years ago, and on pace for an even better season last year had he stayed healthy. You don’t strip the captaincy away from your franchise player because he has down year.

  7. pepper
    August 7, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    I think the team should get away from the Captain deal, they should be a team that plays together, help and encourage one another. Once you have this working for you a team becomes a team and not looking to one person.

    • Frank
      August 7, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      Excellent point! Agree completely.

  8. pablo
    August 7, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Make Murphy the teams Science Officer. Remember Spock?

  9. Metsense
    August 7, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    No. Thanks to pete, Marc Melton, NYM, NormE and Steve L for already explaining the Why and Name for identifying the idea as a joke.
    As for pablo, that is a good idea because he can’t be the chief medical officer; the Mets already have a Ricky “Bones” and also a “Kirk” that is not a Captain.
    Frank, may you live long and prosper, even if I don’t agree with you.

    • pablo
      August 8, 2014 at 6:47 pm

      I would like to see Murphy as the teams Science Officer initiate a team program of teleportation along the base paths. After getting on base, each subsequent base can acquired in zero time. There is no way a player can be thrown out.

  10. Mike
    August 8, 2014 at 6:44 am

    The author of this article needs to get his head examined. I really mean it, make that appointment as you need to have your head examined. David Wright is the Captain of the New York Mets, plain and simple. Derrick Jeter has a bad time and you are going to throw him under the bus too? Come on as there has been talk down in Washington on demoting Bryce Harper due his problems at the plate as well while no one ever considers his heart, his emotion on how he plays. It is so easy to say it is broke, let’s fix it that I happen to think maybe we should fix the fan base first. In Travis d’Arnaud case, he benefited from the demotion as look where he is now. The difference is it si not a cookie cutter case with everyone. After reading this article, honestly, I have lost faith with not only the author but with the web site as well for posting the article. What I would like to know is who gave you, the author, your degree is psychology? Be a fan instead. Worry more about our pitching staff as I have been dreaming lately of next season and us having Harvey back to complement both deGrom and Wheeler along with the additions of both Montero and Syndergaard. I do not think that either of the Young’s are a fit with the team that they both will be leaving after year end. Read the article on the Colorado Rockie web site as the same applies there on Tulowitzki as his actions were taken out of context, much the same as here. If Tulowitzki ia traded to the New York Mets then so be it and if not, I happen to read a article recently that clearly stated we are going to be fine at shortstop next year. We have the players with in the organization, Flores included among others who can step up to the plate. Without saying the Wilpons do not want to part with the big bucks, do we actually have to? Just because other teams, the Yankees included spend the big bucks, do we need to follow suit? Look back to the 1986 New York Team as it was put together with key trades and more home grown talent. Why can’t we just be ourselves and do what is in the best interest of the team, the New York Mets? Same goes for left field as if Carlos Gonzalez is traded to the New York Mets then so be it as what prospects do we have in our farm system that might step up to the plate instead? Give our youth in our farm system a chance as why have a farm system if we are not going to promote those guys as well? Maybe Vann Dekker or Nieuwenhuis or Campbell should be given more of a chance instead. I recently heard Billy Ripken on MLB state that the Mets are not ready this year. Being a “Die Hard” fan, my first reaction is you got to be kidding me. I want to believe but the more and more I got to think about it, I happen to believe he is right. He sighted the Harey return and when I put it with our two present aces in Wheeler and deGrom with what is coming in Montero and Syndergaard, what a rotation we are going to have. Gee and Niese are the ones who need to look over their shoulder as I do not believe either will be with the team next season. We have a good nucleus in the bullpen with Familia and Mejia. Having Matsuzaka in the pen gives us the added depth of his relieving while a sixth starter if one on the staff goers down. The rest of the pen needs to be evaluated to see what tweaking needs to be done and I expect the team will do just that this upcoming winter. Bottom line is stop throwing those that have done us good under the bus in an effort to save face. Face the reality of what is as this time, and even Billy Ripken clearly stated, stay on path of being focused as a team that is not primed this year but is on the verge of being awesome for many years to come.

    Editor’s Note – Please do not capitalize words in your post, as that is a violation of our Comment Policy.

  11. C.K
    August 9, 2014 at 12:24 am

    David Wright was here from the begining and stayed with the mets when he could have left amd went to a contender. He stuck with the mets through thick and thin and had been the backbone of this organization and of baseball in general. He deserves the C more than anyone on the team. I love Murph, but there is only one David Wright, and he is the only one on this Mets roster that has paid the due dividends to earn that C.

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