As the 15 Mets players departed Port St Lucie yesterday, they were told by Jerry Manuel to "dominate and carry your team." This to me sounds a bit like a contradiction to what he has been preaching about team first selfless approach to at bats to the Mets players. If he wants them to be selfless, turning around and telling his core players to dominate and carry their respective teams sends a mixed message because carrying their respective teams may not be what their WBC manager has in mind as far as their individual roles and it should be about working together as a team if these countries are to make it past the first round.
David Wright does not need anyone to tell him to carry a team. He has attempted to do just that the last few seasons, and he admittedly puts tremendous pressure on himself, i think that participating in the WBC and not being a "core player" will help him relax in certain situations. As we all know, as soon as he reports back to Port St Lucie, from then until September, or hopefully October, he will be the front line when it comes to being in the New York fishbowl that the Mets are in for seven months a year. I don't know if he said anything in particular to any one player, but maybe he was speaking mainly to Jose Reyes as a message of being more involved, in the spirit of him being an infield general type player.
I hope he at least told them to be careful and not get injured that would send a more powerful message as a serious injury, especially to one of the core players would be disastrous for the Mets. The pitchers who left for the WBC may get very limited playing time, so perhaps he was telling them to make the most of every opportunity they have during the tournament.
I do hope that they all do well to help their teams be the champions, but as fans, we should care more about their safe return and having a healthy and productive 2009 season to finally bring another World Series trophy into New York and a terrific first season at CitiField.