David Wright: American Hero and an Unlikely Turn of Events

Wendy AdairAnalyst IMarch 18, 2009

David Wright was instrumental in sending Team USA to the World Baseball Classic semifinals last night with one swing of his bat in the bottom of the ninth inning. His game-winning bases-loaded single sent shockwaves throughout Florida and the world.

The irony of this victory is that it occurred on a night that Wright was originally not scheduled to play after taking a knee to the head which resulted in dizziness and blurred watery eyes on Sunday night.

Wright has drawn much criticism in recent months for being a choker and unclutch, but he proved the doubters wrong last night, and the whole world is talking about it today.  Hopefully the confidence he felt last night will carry over to the regular season, it will not be something he or anyone else will forget anytime soon.

After Sunday's game and for most of Monday, much doubt lingered about Wright's health status after the aforementioned collision at second base. He definitely showed himself yesterday to be healthy and capable of carrying his teammates to victory and the semis this weekend in Los Angeles.

Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran, Wright's New York Mets teammates could only watch helplessly as their Puerto Rico team was eliminated at the hands of their New York teammate. Talk about mixed emotions!  I'm sure in private they were extremely proud of him, as his baseball family and friends should be, as well as the pride of New York and America.

Team Puerto Rico felt that they were semifinal bound going into the bottom of the ninth, but when Wright, who was locked in already with a two-hit game, came to the plate with the bases loaded and one out, they were on the ropes, tensions were high.

Wright appeared relaxed and focused, sat on a low pitch he was expecting and dealt them a loss they will not soon forget. The mob scene and dogpiling on the field was not that much different than a World Series victory, the only thing missing was the champagne.

The Mets had the largest representation in the WBC, 16 in all, so enormous pride is felt in the organization that one of their players had such a major role in the second round. At the same time, they are relieved that their players are gradually making their way back to Spring Training Camp.

Team USA has dealt with a tremendous amount of illness—the flu went around the whole team—and injuries to key players, yet they have persevered and have moved on to the semifinals. A game against Venezuela is needed to determine the winner and runner-up for the respective pool.

Head coach Davey Johnson had even considered forfeiting the game because of the extensive injuries to the team, so last night was an incredible against-all-odds game.

Best of luck to Wright and Team USA in the semifinals. It is very possible they may be facing either Japan or Korea in the finals.