The real Mr. Met
I have to travel for work so I have no time to write anything meaningful. So.....I'll just post the best thing I've read in quite a while since not everyone has access to ESPN Insider. Oh, buy a membership to ESPN Insider.
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From Ben Shpigel's piece about David Wright in yesterday's Times:
- At age 25 and preparing to enter his fourth full season in the major leagues, Wright is in a unique position. Already admired by his peers for his professionalism and accountability, Wright, for the first time in his brief career, will be expected to assume part of a leadership void created when Lo Duca and Tom Glavine were not re-signed.
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"I've tried to emulate Glavine's professionalism and the way he carries himself. John Franco's leadership, the way he could get everyone on the same page. The one thing that all these guys had in common was that they had the ability to bring together people from different backgrounds and languages."
True Story: Last year I thought Wright was the best player in the National League. His numbers were brilliant, and from Sept. 2 through the end of the season he batted .365 with devastating power. I spend most of my time 3,000 miles away from the National League East battles, but from here he looked like the MVP. So that's what I wrote. He finished fourth.
Right around Thanksgiving the phone rang. We had visitors so I let the machine pick up. It was David Wright, or at least it was someone identifying himself as David Wright. He said he'd read what I'd written and just wanted to say thanks. Later I checked an ill-used e-mail account and discovered that the Mets' PR director had asked for my phone number. So it really was David Wright.
Obvious Question: So is David Wright really, in addition to being probably the best player in the National League, also an incredibly thoughtful guy? Or is he merely a fantastic player who thinks his life might go a little better over the next 25 years if the writers are on his side?
Simple Answer: Both. Or rather, all three. David Wright really is the best player in the National League. He really is smart enough to know that one quick phone call to a writer might lead to something good down the road. And that really is the mark of someone who's both thoughtful and emotionally mature, and perhaps worthy of our admiration as not only a hard-working professional athlete, but also a person.
Next fall, if I think Wright wasn't the best player in the National League in 2008, I will write passionately about who was the best. But if Wright is the best player, again? I'll write with exactly the same passion … and a bit of pleasure tacked on.
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I'll say it again. The Mets will have the Cy Young Award winner and the MVP.