If you were to compile a line graph to illustrate David Wright’s contribution to the New York Mets this season, it would probably most closely resemble the architectural drawings of a ski jump. Wright started the season off strongly, and continued to be one of the most valuable players in the National League through the first three months of the season. Then, quite like a the course of the exhilarating nordic sport, his production declined rapidly after a stunningly league average July.
In the past, we’ve discussed the importance of Andrew McCutchen to the Pittsburgh Pirates, citing the correlation between his successes and failures with that of his team’s. One could easily attach a similar narrative to David Wright and the New York Mets, as his decline in production this season mirrored his club’s winning percentage.
Despite all of this, Wright is on pace to record a seven plus wins above replacement season. That’s testament to just how good his start to the year was, but it all counts. Even if his team has been scared off by his second-half decline and has more interest in trading Wright than locking him up to a long-term contract, the Mets are likely to exercise their $16 million option for the 2013 season.
However, when discussing the future of Wright in New York, it’s important to remember that there are factors beyond that which might exist in a vacuum. As the Mets rebuild their roster around the anticipated performances of pitching prospects like Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler, they’ll still attempt to put a team on the field that will attract fans, and one way to do that is to ensure that the faces on that team are familiar.
As of last night, you could argue that there has never been a more familiar face to New York Mets fans than that of David Wright, who hit an RBI single in the bottom of the third inning Wednesday evening against the aforementioned Pirates to become the franchise’s all-time base hits leader.
In addition to having more hits for the Mets than any other player in the club’s history, Wright also holds high-water marks in total bases, runs, extra-base hits, walks and RBIs for the franchise.
That’s no small feat. And it’s not easily ignored by a team’s ownership and front office, especially when the same player who holds so many franchise records also holds a certain infielder who spent his entire career playing on the left side for the Baltimore Orioles in high enough regard to refer to him as his idol.
My favorite player was Cal Ripken. The biggest reason for that was, I like that he stayed.
The timing of this quote, which is strikingly similar to something Wright said back in March as well, isn’t coincidental. As he enters his final contractual year next season, the third baseman would like to sign a long-term deal, and as much as that looked like a sure thing earlier this season, his second half would’ve certainly induced second thoughts in management. However, for all the hints at taking a discount to stay in New York, Wright is likely aware that he offers more value to the Mets than any other team given not only his history with the club, but also the fact that he can sign a contract extension before the results of yet another season, one that could be closer to his second half than the first part of 2012, can be calculated.
For more on Wright’s hit record:
David Wright sets Mets all-time record for hits. [Amazin' Avenue]
The evolution of the Mets’ all-time hits record. [Mets Merized]
And The Rest
The Miami Marlins have signed Adam Greenberg to a one-day contract to face R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets. [Palm Beach Post]
After last night’s victory over the Kansas City Royals, the Detroit Tigers are in sole possession of first place in the American League Central. Here are all of the different scenarios that could play out for the rest of the season. [Bless You Boys]
Yes, the Chicago White Sox lost to the lowly Cleveland Indians last night, and are now a game behind the Tigers. [South Side Sox]
The New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays all won last night, meaning that the playoff picture in the American League East remains the same with the Yankees leading the division, the Orioles in the Wild Card spot and the Rays on the outside looking in. [River Avenue Blues]
What it’s like for Los Angeles fans to have to root for the Texas Rangers. [Monkey With A Halo]
Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth thrived on boos during his team’s victory over the Philadelphia Phillies last night. [Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia]
Bo Porter will be the Houston Astros new manager. [Twitter]
ESPN’s Rob Parker trolled ESPN’s Keith Law on Twitter, and the fallout was kind of hilarious. [Deadspin]
Deion Sanders took batting practice with the Baltimore Orioles [Comcast Sportsnet Baltimore]
Neal Huntington will back as the Pittsburgh Pirates general manager in 2013. [MLBlogs]
Bobby Valentine’s quote of the year. [Twitter]
It’s time to rethink Native American imagery. [Uni Watch]
Teddy may finally win the President’s Race at Nationals Park. [U.S. News]
Brett Lawrie is done with Twitter. [Twitter]
How the bullpen of the Cincinnati Reds is shaping up ahead of the playoffs. [Red Reporter]