New York loves its heroes. On the field, off the field, wherever, the city embraces people who open their arms to its inhabitants.
David Wright, a Virginia native, has done just that since joining the Mets on the major league level when he was 21.
While the crosstown Yankees have had their share of icons throughout their history, the pantheon of great Mets is decidedly smaller.
Past great Mets like Tom Seaver, Darryl Strawberry, Doc Gooden and Mike Piazza, all spent parts of their career with other big league teams.
Thus far, David Wright has spent his entire career in the orange and blue. Now, it's decision time.
In August of 2006, the Mets extended Wright for six years and $55 million, with a club option for $16 million in 2013.
So here are the choices that general manager Sandy Alderson faces:
- Let Wright play out the season, pick up the club option to keep him under contract through 2013, and then deal with another full season of speculation and contract negotiations.
- Extend Wright long term.
- Trade him.
- Decline the club option and let him walk as a free agent at season's end.
Assuming Alderson doesn't want to start a mini revolution in Flushing, letting David Wright walk for no compensation is out of the question.
Executing the 2013 club option is also less than desirable for the Mets, considering the added months of scrutiny the franchise will be forced to face should they table the Wright decision for another season.
The two most likely options are a trade, or an extension. But for the love of the Home Run Apple, do not trade David Wright!
The team sits three games over .500 as of this writing, only three games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves. Granted, it's mid-May and there are 125 games left to play, but this team has shown a surprising spark early on.
A collection of mid-level, homegrown talent has become an exciting group of never-say-die warriors. On a team of young overachievers, David Wright is a calming veteran presence.
For instance, on Tuesday night, Wright lost his cool in the dugout during an 8-0 blowout loss to the Brewers. Not because the team was failing to perform, but because manager Terry Collins pulled Wright for a pinch hitter after Brewers OF Ryan Braun was hit by a pitch.
Rather than risk injury to the star third baseman by a potential retaliation, Collins inserted a pinch hitter. Wright blew a gasket. He wanted to be the guy who stood in the box and accepted the retaliation, which never materialized anyway.
He's the franchise's all-time leader in RBI, total bases and doubles. He is second in batting average and runs scored, third in hits, third in slugging percentage, fourth in on-base percentage, fourth in home runs and sixth in games played.
He's done it all before his 30th birthday, and there's a chance the Mets may lose him.
It can't happen. Alderson won't let it happen. Mets fans deserve to keep the face of their franchise.
Yes, losing Jose Reyes was a painful reality, but there has never been a more important decision facing the New York Mets than this one.
Break the bank if you must, Mr. Alderson. And while we're at it, let's slap a "C" on the man's chest. Mets fans deserve their heroes too.