A bittersweet good-bye for David Wright

Yesterday’s David Wright press conference epitomized the term “bittersweet.” After two plus years of surgeries, rehab and set backs, the Mets captain is rejoining the roster on September 25 with plans to start the game on the 29th. His primary motivation for fighting through all the pain was giving his young daughters the chance to see their daddy in uniform. If that didn’t move you to tears, surely the second part of the announcement did, that Wright will hang up his spikes at the end of the season.

Wright himself delivered much of the press conference through tears. Just talking about it afterward, Nelson Figueroa got teary. Surely more tears were shed in the clubhouse and on couches at home.

Wright was flanked by Assistant GM John Ricco and owner Jeff Wilpon. None of the three mentioned the word retirement, but, instead said that Wright would be medically incapable of playing next year. It’s not hard to read between the lines. If he officially retires, he has to negotiate a buyout of his remaining $28 million contract, but if he’s medically ineligible, insurance money will cover most of his salary. Wright deferred to Wilpon on a reporter question that asked for clarification on this point. It’s easy to shout “cheapskate!” at the TV, but logically, it makes sense. The Mets owners committed a great deal to Wright with a large contract that mainly served to reward him for his early years and for serving as a great team ambassador.

Wright said he doesn’t know what his next career move will be yet, but that he loves the game of baseball and bleeds blue and orange. It’s not hard to envision him as a coach, scout or announcer in the coming years. He has the charisma, the leadership abilities, earned respect, baseball acumen and likability to fill any of those roles. And while the back of his baseball card appears sadly cut short, his Mets career is still worthy of a retired number 5 on the outfield wall someday. Seven All Star games, five seasons of .900+ OPS, two Gold Gloves and a World Series appearance is not quite Cooperstown worthy, but it’s earned Wright a place in the Mets Hall of Fame. He’s been a team favorite and a fan favorite, a leader on and off the field, a great player and a great guy who always represented his team well and set a fine example for young players.

Hopefully, Wright can end his career on a high note later this month. But whether he hits one more home run, makes one last bare handed play at the hot corner or neither, he’ll get that epic standing ovation that he so richly deserves.

13 comments for “A bittersweet good-bye for David Wright

  1. September 14, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Wright can do whatever he wants. He’s earned it. He sacrificed his body for this team. He’s a class act. He can teach in the minors and do occasional interviews in the booth. Please Fred and Jeff don’t screw this up. Stay in the background. Let the fans and Wright remember that day for him being Mr. Met.

  2. Matt Netter
    September 14, 2018 at 9:31 am

    Pete, I’ll be at the game and I think the coolest thing (even if a bit silly) would be for Mr. Met himself to come out on the field and give David a hug. Maybe the world’s greatest mascot could be waiting in the dugout when Wright comes back from his last at bat. That’s how I’d write the script anyway.

    • IDRAFT
      September 14, 2018 at 1:17 pm

      Good for you. Have fun! No sarcasm intended, in case you are wondering.

  3. Chris F
    September 14, 2018 at 10:06 am

    Sadly, David will not get the grand tour retirement parade around the league he deserves. He was greatest Mets of all time, Captain America, the face of the MLB, and all around the nicest guy out there by all reports. I had the good fortune to meet him for a minute one time and he was totally awesome to someone he could have just walked away from.

    I just hope the Mets do this right. As humble as he is, there does need to be air of appreciation, a playoff like day. He needs to be honored, and they need to retire #5.

    I was a big advocate for his contract renewal. Clearly it was a bust, but all along the hope was he would move to the FO in a meaningful position and ultimately become the ambassador for the team. Im super glad he got his World Series experience, just wish it was a win he and the team deserved.

  4. September 14, 2018 at 10:35 am

    David Wright pretty much announcing his retirement is incredibly sad. I thought I was prepared I guess I didn’t cause when I read his comments I got incredibly sad, and had to step outside to collect myself.

    All I can say is thank you David Wright for all the incredibly moments and I was a huge fan from the start when I watched his first press conference. I loved how he went the other way with power and his excellent eye at the plate and his good glove.

    There are so many great moments and there should have been more but mostly thanks to the Wilpons and Omar there wasn’t and that’s incredibly depressing. I’ll always remember 206 when I thought he Beltran and Reyes were gonna lead the team to a dynasty and because of incompetence by others it never happened.

    I was a baseball fan in 86 but the 2015 Mets are my favorite team ever and there was so many great moments in that season but his returns tops the list for me. The homer in his return to the Mets and that big hit vs the Nats on Labor Day and the homer in the World Series and a lifetimes worth of great moments. I so wish the 2015 team had won it all for David so his career could have that one last great moment as a pro and get a richly deserved ring.

    It is incredibly sad that a guy that was well on his way to being an all time great and his body just fell apart. The Mets better retire his umber and when they do I was to be at the Ballpark. Thank you David.

  5. Madman
    September 14, 2018 at 10:50 am

    September 29,what a day! Batting first and playing shortstop, Jose Reyes, batting second and playing third base, David Wright. After the game they both announced their retirements and the the Mets announce that a statue of the two of them will be placed outside the stadium. Reyes will be a coach next season and Wright will be a consultant.

  6. Eraff
    September 14, 2018 at 11:58 am

    This may be a nice day for David Wright Fans….but it just sticks Me wrong that we are going to see an Old Timers Day within a Baseball Game.

    Aging Great Players are often still Great Players as they approach their last days as Big Leaguers ….. they just cannot be Great Players Every Day anymore.

    David is not a Great Player anymore…not on any day. He is not an MLB player anymore…not on any day.

    As an indulgence, I have some understanding of his desire. I do think it’s a sad spotlight that the season has been so bad…so meaningless…and so Over so quickly that the Mets are actually able to respond to this by playing him for a day, with no impact on their season.

    I’d prefer that they turn the page—I hope this is the last “look back”

    I love David Wright…. I wish I was still watching David and Jose as Young players. Hey, what would it be like to see Seaver Roaring Down the Hill one more time!!!???… and where is the Seaver Statue!!!!!!????????

    • MattyMets
      September 14, 2018 at 5:05 pm

      A Seaver statue would be awesome.

  7. IDRAFT
    September 14, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    Yes David wants to play one more time, but also, many fans want to see that and honor him for all his years playing for “their” team. The attendance figures will bear that out.

    Isn’t that the point of it all?

  8. September 14, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    I guess I’ve already done my mourning for Wright. I’m all in favor of him getting the chance to play another game or three but that’s the extent of my sentimentality here.

    Should it have been different? Absolutely. But it should have been different with Carlos Delgado and Johan Santana and Jason Bay and all other athletes who had their All-Star careers cut short due to injury.

    It’s hard not to think of a Coughlin Law here – Bury the dead, they stink up the joint.

    • Mike Walczak
      September 14, 2018 at 3:07 pm

      I love Wright, but he should have retired a long time ago.

      All good things done to an end. This will actually be good for David. He can move on to the next stage of his life, without trying to meet the rigors of a professional athlete.

  9. Madman
    September 14, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    Santana,Bay two more FA signings that didn’t work! But hey lets go after Harper, Machado, 400 million for 10 years,sounds good.

  10. BK
    September 14, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    Nothing negative to say here. While it should have ended differently, the captain always represented himself and the team with class. Looking forward to seeing his last game, and to how he contributes to the team after it ends.

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