Team USA is falling apart at the seams more each passing day, and last night, they suffered another blow. The game did and will continue to go on, but with few to no reserves, it is getting scarier by the minute. Reserves can and will be called on for the semifinals this weekend, but their effectiveness in this tournament will remain to be seen in front of the world.
This has really been a painful but glory-filled few days for David Wright. On Sunday night, he got kneed in the head during the elimination game of the Netherlands. On Tuesday night he was the hero of the game, eliminating Puerto Rico and propelling Team USA into the semifinals.
Last night, during a game that meant nothing except for Pool seeding against Venezuela, in the top of the first inning, Wright fouled a ball of his left foot, which completely cracked and tore his nail off the big toe. He had his foot wrapped between innings and stayed in for the remainder of the game, even while he was in obvious agony, but insists that he will be well enough to play this weekend in Los Angeles.
Several USA players, including Dustin Pedroia, Chipper Jones, Matt Lindstrom, and Kevin Youkilis, have already gone back to their team's Spring Training facilities and will not return to the tournament. Ryan Braun hopes to be available for the semifinals, so there are several roster spots that will need to be filled.
Losing David Wright would not be good for the team, but it would ease the minds of the Mets organization and players and it would be a good opportunity for either Evan Longoria of the Rays or Ryan Zimmerman from the Nationals, who also happens to be Wright's childhood friend from Virginia Beach.
Wright finally had X-rays taken of his foot after the game as a precaution, and the results came back negative. However, he is in a great deal of pain, and even though he is unquestionably tough as nails—no pun intended, his effectiveness and level of discomfort will be monitored in light of the most recent injury, as putting weight on his foot for the time being is pretty torturous.
The Mets would certainly be within their rights to insist that Wright come back to camp, as I am not sure they are comfortable with him there since taking the knee to the head. With the broken toenail causing him such obvious discomfort, they have to be extremely concerned about his availability for the start of the season should the injury fail to heal as planned.
It will be interesting to see if the Mets do confront Wright about his willingness to make the trip to Los Angeles for the weekend. Being that other teams have pulled their players out, they would be doing the responsible thing for themselves, but do they really know how he and/or his game will be affected while his foot is healing?