When the New York Mets take the field to open the 2011 season, their roster will be relatively unchanged from 2010. They let Hisanori Takahashi leave for free agency, showed interest in SP Chris Young, and had Pedro Feliciano close to declining arbitration, but other than that the Mets don't have much going on.
So if the Mets aren't going to do much this offseason, what could make the difference for them in 2011?
Well my friends, it's time for David Wright to stand up and assume his position as leader of the New York Mets.
After suffering a power outage in 2009 that saw Wright hit only 10 homers, he bounced back big time in 2010 and pummeled 29 homers with 103 RBIs.
David Wright is arguably (though I think it's pretty clear) the best player on the Mets. Though his strikeouts have steadily increased each season, no one is more important to the Mets' offense. Jason Bay and Carlos Beltran will hopefully have comeback seasons in 2011 and finally earn their money, but Wright is going to be the biggest cog.
What the Mets need most is leadership. They addressed that need in the front office already with the additions of Sandy Alderson as GM and Terry Collins as manager, but adding a leader among the players is much more difficult.
Rarely can it be done through free agency, which the Mets will not be involved in. But they need only look within to solve this issue.
Who is most important in the Mets' lineup in 2011?
David Wright is a fan favorite. He puts up solid numbers and is always the first to visit the pitching mound in a tense situation. If he can stand up and be a leader to this team, perhaps he can stir them to victory in 2011.
It's time to step up Mr. Wright. Put this team on your shoulders. That doesn't mean you need to carry the offense, but be the voice in the clubhouse, in the media, and give the fans someone to look to when things go south.