I took the weekend to let this digest and come up with a reasonable and rational reaction to the news that David Wright is getting surgery on his neck. They’re saying it’s most likely season-ending surgery. But it probably means career-ending surgery. Not that it was much of a surprise, but to actually hear it and see it happening is tough to swallow. Wright is an all-time great Met who stuck with this team through some DARK, dark days when in actuality he could have left, and not one person would have faulted him for it. He’s taken pay cuts to stay with the Mets. He’s been the face of the franchise for the last decade, and nobody deserves to be apart of a winning team more than David Wright. Nowadays in sports you don’t see many players sticking with one team their entire careers. Almost never, actually. The fact that he stayed true to the orange and blue speaks volumes about the kind of person and leader DW is.
But the fact of the matter is he hasn’t been his true self in a few years. He’s been on and off the field battling injuries since before the Mets were good again (NOTE: they currently stink and I’m fully aware of that). Last May he was diagnosed with Spinal Stenosis, and it was then that Mets fans knew it was the beginning of the end. A notoriously serious injury, it was essentially a death warrant for our boy David. He’s been a corpse for the last year+. The days of him hitting 30 home runs and stealing 30 bags are LONG gone, and they’re never coming back. Going into this season we knew his back would be a major issue. It’s certainly ironic that his neck surgery is what’s doing him in ultimately, but his body has been falling apart for a while now.
As far as the plan moving forward, nobody has the answer. The Mets are in a downward spiral and are absolutely riddled with injuries up and down the roster. One thing we know for sure is that David Wright is not in the future plans for the Mets. He says he’s gonna do whatever he has to do to get back on the field and try to help this team, and I wouldn’t expect to hear anything else from The Captain. Maybe it’s blind optimism or perhaps he really feels he still has some juice left in the tank. But the best thing the Mets and DW can do is to part ways. Wright should retire and take a settlement and take the Mets off the hook financially who otherwise owe him $67M over the next 3 years. I’d imagine there’s some contract clause regarding injury-driven retirement, but I’m no lawyer. Wright would never suck this team dry in hopes to play 25 games next season because his body is more likely than not going to fail on him again.
It’s tough to describe how much he has meant to the organization over the years. With not much to look forward to, often in the cellar of the division standings, Wright was always out there busting ass trying to help the team in any way possible. We’re just about at the end of the David Wright era, and as many fans’ favorite Met, it will be tough to accept the fact that he’s done and that it’s time to move on. If you want to criticize him and say he never lived up to his potential, that’s actually a fair criticism. Granted he had minor league-esque players most of the time, but his numbers dropped off pretty quickly as well as his time on the field. Third base was never a question in Queens for the last 10+ years. But when you start a career at a young age and are counted on to carry a team by yourself basically, it’s not crazy that his body just couldn’t keep up.
In summation, I wouldn’t be surprised if he never steps on the diamond again as a player. It’s almost a certainty that he’s done for this year, and given the way he’s regressed physically, we’re best off not having false hope of him playing again, let alone returning to his old self. I hope he stays with the Mets for a long long time as a coach or mentor or something because his presence is not unnoticed in the clubhouse. He gave the Mets some great years despite the years themselves being pretty pathetic. Shout out to you Captain. You will be missed.