David Wright is the face of the Mets franchise, not by his choice, but now is under fire from the media and fans for having a bad April.
Wright has racked up 27 strikeouts in 21 games and is starting to botch plays that he normally makes with ease, probably because he is taking his failures in the batter's box on the field with him the next inning.
He has been open and honest to the media about why he is not doing well, he is not comfortable with his mechanics. Wright admits to not seeing the ball well and is fouling off very hittable pitches.
New York is a tough place to be a sports celebrity, no doubt about it, and fans are a bit too much in the habit of booing a player rather than try to be encouraging while they are working on improving their game.
Last season, Luis Castillo was heartily booed by the Shea faithful, but he was not playing every day, where Wright is playing every day, much to the fans dismay as most of them want him benched for at least a few games.
I have even heard a few really malicious things being said about fans hoping that Wright blows out a hamstring running the bases so that he will be shelved on the disabled list and can't hurt the Mets for a few weeks.
Wright plays while injured in a stoic manner far better than most Major League Players so it would take an injury of incredible seriousness to get him out of the lineup.
Jerry Manuel seems to be confident that Wright will break out of his funk and is willing to be patient with him because he sees how hard Wright is working, before, during and after each game.
More than a few people have accused his girlfriend of being the cause of it and this is really taking things to a new low, but because she is a model and he looks like he could be a model, they are under a microscope as a couple.
He is currently tied with Jose Reyes in stolen bases and is the team leader in runs scored, so despite his struggles, he is getting on base and making the most of the opportunities to advance and score runs for the team.
He knows he is struggling, the fans don't need to point that out to him, and he is very accountable to the media, not shying away from the tough interviews, but people only want to see the struggle, not the effort and accountability.
Hopefully during this time away from New York, a city that used to love him, will help Wright will regain the confidence that the hometown fans helped take away from him.
Booing an obvious lack of effort is one thing, but booing an everyday player who tries so hard on average 160 games per season is ridiculous. I understand that people boo more out of frustration than malice, but supporting your players will be encouraging to them and they will respond to that better than booing and belittling them.
He dies a small death with every loss, especially when he knows that he could have contributed more and he is obviously pressing to put the past two Septembers behind him and the rest of the teams.
Booing a struggling warrior like Wright is just plain cruel.