David Wright as Mets captain? Don’t be silly. David Wright’s not a captain. David Wright’s an ambassador.
David Wright puts the Mets’ best foot forward. David Wright makes everybody feel good about the Mets, including all those new Mets to whom he shows apartments, restaurants and the ropes.
David Wright represents the Mets in other places, even to other countries. Look what he did while wearing a USA uniform versus Italy and Canada. Whatever people in those strange lands thought of the Mets before (if they thought them about them at all), they’re thinking one thing above all now: That’s the team that has David Wright.
How bad could a team with David Wright be?
Where I went to college, there was and still is a special group of students called the Ambassadors. To be one of them, you have to be “committed, disciplined, strive for excellence and most of all, love to be a USF Bull.” No bull — that sure sounds like how David Wright handles his Met business.
If you were an Ambassador at USF, you got to drive VIPs around in a golf cart while you wore a green jacket. As the Ambassador of the New York Mets, David Wright can wear whatever he likes. He can wear an A for Ambassador, a C for Captain or a D for Diplomat, as no one phrases his statements more tactfully than Ambassador Wright. Or he can wear nothing at all, so to speak. Nothing but No. 5 in blue and orange.
The moment David Wright sees his first action of 2013 is the moment he makes a bit of history. Just by getting in the lineup on Opening Day (assuming the World Baseball Classic doesn’t do something stupid like injure him), David Wright becomes the first Met since John Franco to play in 10 or more seasons as a Met. Only 14 Mets have logged that many seasons or season-fragments in our colors. Hardly any of them made such good individual use of such extended tenure. In David Wright’s nine seasons, he’s taken over the bulk of the offensive portion of the franchise record book. He has a contract — let alone the ability — that will allow him to sign his name across the top of almost every category well before his pact runs out.
And you know it will run out before he ever does.
Conventionally thinking, that’s one of the reasons David Wright’s been talked up as captain. To me, it’s more ambassadorship material. He chose to remain a Met for the long term when that sort of relationship is rarely forged for anything beyond the mid term. Others of whom we’ve been fond in recent seasons (or whose accomplishments we greatly enjoyed) have been out of here in a few years…or a fewish years when compared to David Wright. Those were, when they were said and done, business relations. David Wright’s ties to the Mets are fastened by diplomatic relations. He’s the man on the inside, the man on the outside. I don’t know if he’s The Man as we frame the athletic ideal. I think he could use a few good men around him to make his diplomatic missions more worthwhile from win-column perspective.
Will he complain about it if he doesn’t get them? Does that sound like the actions of an ambassador to you?
David Wright is the embodiment of goodwill in a Mets uniform. Forget stitching him an extra letter and never mind the special jackets. At the very least let him park anywhere he wants. A solid decade as a Met in this era ought to be enough to earn anyone diplomatic immunity.