If there was any doubt that Team USA third baseman David Wright was captain material, it was erased on Saturday night. Wright and the Americans were out in Phoenix playing Pool D winner Italy, who had come off of two surprising upsets, a shutdown of Mexico, and an outright curb stomp of a strong Canada team. Things started out bad for the Americans, when they fell behind by two, and the growing concern was that they were, as usual, overhyped. Fortunately, they tied the game up by the fifth inning, and loaded the bases for Wright. Wright followed with a blast off of Italy pitcher Matt Torra, and the Americans kept the lead for the rest of the game.
With this game, all the Americans have to do is beat the Canadians and they advance with Italy to the round 2 bracket.
But moving on from that…
David Wright is no stranger to heroics in the WBC. Four years ago, Wright dumped a go-ahead single into right field against Puerto Rico in a Round 2 game, which ultimately led to the US team facing Japan in the semifinal, a game they ultimately lost.
Wright, who has also scored two runs so far against Team Canada in the final Pool D game, actually relishes playing in the Classic, and has been viewed as one of the game’s biggest proponents.
But the real point of this post is the issue of Wright possibly becoming a Captain for the Mets.
Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins, and Mets ownership should put some serious thought into having Wright as a captain, the first since John Franco left the team in 2004.
The role of captain is not as prominent as it was ten years ago, when players like Franco, Jason Varitek, Derek Jeter, Paul Konerko, Mike Sweeney, etc. were given the title, and in some cases, a C patch. Today, only Konerko and Jeter remain as true captains of their respective teams.
If Wright’s status as a leader in the WBC were to somehow turn the heads of Mets management. putting the C patch on his jersey would not be out of the question. Wright is everything a typical Captain should be. He’s been there the longest, been with the same team his whole career, (or in the case of Konerko, for ten or more years). and players look up to him, no matter if they are younger or older.
If Wright can show his leadership on the international level with teammates that he’s going up against on any other day, Mets management should definitely make the move without hesitation. Not only will this show that the team is shedding the past, but it also shows that they are ready to fully embrace the change they need in order to get back into legitimacy.