On Tuesday night, we got to see a different side of David Wright. The otherwise cool-under-fire third baseman was absolutely livid after a wild inning where reliever D.J. Carrasco plunked 2011 NL MVP Ryan Braun and was ejected.
Apparently what happened was after the inning, manager Terry Collins pulled Wright aside and told him to sit, putting rookie Jordany Valdespin in as a sub. Wright, who was more than willing to take possible retaliation from the Milwaukee Brewers in the form of a plunking, was angry, and tried to convince Collins otherwise. But when all was said and done, he found himself sitting on the Bench as the Mets endured a 8-0 loss.
When asked why Wright was benched, Collins said something along the lines of wanting to protect his best player. To be more precise (via ESPN):
"Believe me, I'm not accusing (the Brewers) of anything. I just know what might have taken place and I was trying to avoid it. (Wright) said, 'If somebody gets hit, it should be me.' And I said, 'It's not going to be you. We have enough problems now. So you're not hitting.'"
Now granted, the situation was quickly resolved by the next day. But how should people be viewing this? Should it be another case of Alex Ovechkin and Dale Hunter? Another case of Santonio Holmes and Rex Ryan? Or is it something different?
Well, if you want my insight into this, I think both of them were right.
Let's go with Wright first. Here's a guy who's been with the Mets his whole career, and is, in effect, a captain. While he's normally calm, cool, and collected, the fact that he was willing to do anything to end the situation, even endure bodily harm to do it, was a noble, if futile idea.
It shows that Wright both loves his team, and is willing to do anything to make things right. It shows that Wright is a true leader of a team that may lose its chaotic image. If nothing else, he is an example of a true superstar.
Now, on Collins' side of the argument.
I'm no mind reader, but even I know that Wright is a valuable asset to a team that has done nothing but surprise people. He is the top hitter in the National League and is almost guaranteed to be an All-Star this year. In addition, he is coming up on a contract year and if he is extended, could be a Met until the day he retires.
Collins meant well in pulling Wright. He was playing it safe, knowing that if he didn't pull Wright, he would have possibly had a momentum killing injury. In retrospect, you have to agree. The Brewers top hitter gets plunked intentionally, so obviously they are going to want to retaliate.
How does a team retaliate? Simply, they plunk the other team's top player. It's a smart move now, and it will be looked at as a great decision by a guy who has changed his identity from a guy who couldn't control his clubhouse (Houston, Anaheim) to a guy who gets the respect of his players.
In conclusion, both player and manager were right. Wright is really dedicated to his team, and Collins is concerned for his players. This is the type of clubhouse chemistry that we should be seeing more often.