Rich Coutinho goes one-on-one with Mets Captain, David Wright, about his new contract, being the 4th captain in team history and the future of the Mets organization.
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For the past 25 years I have sat in baseball press boxes and watched young pitcher after young pitcher walk onto a mound and try to strut their stuff. Some have more talent than others. Some have more desire than others. Some have the intellect to make up for sub-standard stuff. But the true litmus test is on the nights they do not have their best stuff and during those games how they alter their game plan to get themselves to the finish line.
In many ways, the Mets could not have asked for a better first week--winning 4 of 6 with superb starting pitching right throughout the homestand punctuated by a walk -off come from behind win on Sunday. Critics of the Mets might point to the fact the competition was not exactly the '27 Yankees but don't expect the Mets to share that opinion.
The Twitter universe has been debating the RA Dickey case for weeks now and the question remains the same: Would the Mets be better off trading the Cy Young Award winner or would keeping him make the team stronger? And the answer remains constant: That all depends.
When the news broke this morning courtesy of Ed Coleman that David Wright had agreed to a contract extension, Met fans in the tri-star area rejoiced and rightfully so. I have known David Wright for almost 10 years and I can safely say he embodies what a New York Met should be. He is a talented player who understands that talent without hard work yields no results. He also knows that New York is a tough town that will both be critical and loyal at the same time and David Wright embraces that.
The evolution of these negotiations was fascinating to me and it played out on Twitter all week long with Met fans weighing in on the pros and cons of signing Wright to this extension. To me, the issue was always a simple one: This is a home-grown player who deserved to be paid well for what he has done and what he will ultimately provide. I have always said that one day David Wright's uniform # will forever reside on CitiField's left field wall mostly because of his numbers but also because of what he means to Met fans.
One thing is crystal clear from my conversations with Sandy Alderson and that is he intends to make changes this off-season as the evaluation process with this team has concluded. He will continue to reinforce his minor league system and we saw the start of that with the advent of the "Matt Harvey Era" last season. There are others on the way but the intention is to improve the team this off-season with more power in the lineup and more power arms in the bullpen. The free-agent class is not deep this year so he will have to be creative but all eyes will be on a general manager who enters his first off-season in the post-Madoff era.
One thing we should have all learned this season is that building a baseball team is not about throwing millions of dollars at a problem. It certainly did not work for the Miami Marlins. And while the Los Angeles Dodgers and Anaheim Angels have spent the last 12 months spending money like a teenager who just got dad's credit card, it should be noted that the subtle moves made the difference in places like San Francisco where Marco Scutaro became the bargain of the trading deadline.