The Mets are a changing team, maybe not with Free Agent signings this winter, but definitely with dynamics.
Jeff Francoeur is undoubtedly a gamer and will fight for his convictions. Whoever it is that stands in his way had better yield, and the Mets will benefit from his fiery mentality.
I admit I was not a fan of Francoeur when he was a Brave and was very upset when Ryan Church was sent packing to Atlanta.
His play and attitude in the second half of 2009 made me a believer that Francoeur is and can continue to be a force to be reckoned with on the Mets.
David Wright is also a tough gamer, the face and voice of the franchise, and de-facto captain who will most likely be a lifetime Met, if he has any say in the matter.
I do think that Jeff Francoeur and David Wright should be co-captains, officially or otherwise. They are the present and future of the Mets and they are both in their prime and seem to work well together.
They have become good friends who are very much alike in that they put their teammates ahead of themselves.
The most striking similarity is that they both want to play every game, no matter what ailments they choose to ignore or minimize.
Normally during home games, Wright leads his teammates on to the field, but when a concussion put him on the DL last August, Francoeur took over that role with pride.
Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, and Jose Reyes have been considered core members of this team and part of Jerry Manuel's leadership network, but I do see that changing in 2010.
All three of them missed substantial time in 2009 due to injuries and while they may have their leadership skill sets, they do not have the same sense of their team situation that Wright and Francoeur have since they both were key factors in 2009.
Delgado may not even be a Met in 2010, Beltran hasn't fully tested how his knees can respond to playing every day, and Reyes had hamstring surgery. If Reyes is limited in his running, he cannot be the dynamic cog that he is known and loved for in New York.
Johan Santana is another leader on the Mets, but as a pitcher, not an everday position player, he cannot possibly have the same impact or influence on the whole team.
Yes he is fiery and takes control over a game on days that he pitches, but that is only once or twice a week.
The Mets may not officially make them co-captains, but 2010 should be a year that they both step up and make the Mets team run as a fully functioning and unified team, which may be a challenge especially if the Mets do not play well early in the season.