His Name is David Wright—Not Derek Jeter!
The New York Mets are in a tailspin after dropping three of four from the Atlanta Braves, including losses of 7-1 and 11-0. The sole win courtesy of the dazzling left arm of Johan Santana Saturday afternoon.
The Yankees (54-37) find themselves only one game back of the Red Sox(55-36) for the overall lead in Baseball's toughest division.
The difference between the two teams seems to be more than just the talent pool. One which has steadily declined due to injury for the Mets and one that has consistently increased by the willingness to import high priced replacements through capital and trades for the Yankees.
However, it is much more than a willingness to spend on the Yankees part. Omar Minaya may claim to be burning up the phone lines looking for help but in all honesty his hands are completely tied unless he mortgages the future—whatever that may be.
Jerry Manuel has been dealt a bad hand but has seemingly played it to a fold. For a players manager he seems to lack any motivational skills or effective ways to communicate the importance of fundamentals.
And with the Yankees beginning to ride high, the lens and scrutiny of the New York microscope has become completely unforgiving.
In most corners, the word is that the Mets are lacking and have lacked something essential that all great teams, including the Yankees, have had and that is leadership.
And if the Yankees have one leader it is Derek Jeter. Naturally, then for the Mets, their anointed leader should be David Wright.
One the surface, one of the Mets problems then can be eliminated with David Wright taking charge of the clubhouse and on the field.
After all, the similarities between David Wright and Derek Jeter are more than a few.
They both are the faces of their respective franchises. They both are always accessible to the Media and keep a low profile out of the spotlight. And they are both loved by woman all over the city and the country, for that matter.
Even comparing their stats for the season, many similarities can be found in batting average, home runs, RBIs, and runs scored. Although, Wright has shown more pop in the past, Jeter is leading David by double the margin this season.
However, the careers of the two have taken quite a different path.
For instance, Derek Jeter was 29-years old and had already won four championship rings when he was given the honorary title of captain in 2003. Not only that, but Jeter had established himself as a postseason wonder kid.
David Wright is 26-years old and has been to the postseason once in his young career. In two series, he had one which was good and the other not so spectacular.
Wright will also always be haunted by the the "choke" moniker, no matter how unfair, because of his association with two Mets collapses.
That is until the Mets get back into the postseason.
The other consideration that fans and media miss out on when coronating Wright as the captain is that David is part of a core (Reyes, Delgado, Beltran, and Santana) that is far more experienced and older with the exception of Reyes.
While it is true that Jeter was only 29, as stated before, his accomplishments were many and by 2003 three integral parts of the Yankee dynasty were gone: Paul O'Neill, Scott Brosious, and Tino Martinez.
Sure, he still had Bernie Williams (quiet, led by example), Jorge Posada (Jeter's clubhouse enforcer), and Mariano Rivera (the anchor) but he had earned their respect by winning repeatedly alongside them.
So while it is safe to assume that David Wright will one day be that leader that the team, fans, and media crave, is it fair to put that weight on his already over-burdened shoulders?
And at this point, he really needs a team that is worth leading, doesn't he?
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