Wright Withdraws from World Baseball Classic
Added by Guy Kipp on March 16, 2013.
Even before David Wright withdrew on Thursday from the remaining games in the World Baseball Classic with a left intercostal strain, there was something bittersweet and all-too-familiar with the way Wright’s saga was playing out in the international preseason tournament.
Wright was absolutely tearing it up, turning in monstrous performances with runners on base, and playing scintillating defense at third base (including one breathtaking diving stop that had to have been a catalyst in aggravating his back/ribcage injury). His .438 batting average in the four WBC games he played included two doubles, a grand slam, and 10 RBI.
So Mets fans got to cheer a Met turning in a star performance while not wearing a Mets uniform and not impacting a Mets game that counts in actual Major League standings. A pyrrhic victory of sorts — the kind to which Mets fans have become very accustomed over the last few years. Put it alongside Wright’s game-ending hit to beat Puerto Rico in a 2009 WBC game in Miami.
Or Jose Reyes clinching the first National League batting title for a Met in franchise history in 2011 — in his final game in a Met uniform, a game he ducked out of after a bunt single in his first at-bat that day.
Or Johan Santana pitching the long-awaited first no-hitter in franchise history, only to have the two most talked-about aspects of that night end up being Carlos Beltran’s “foul” ball that kicked up chalk, and Santana’s astronomical pitch count, which left him with just a couple of more effective starts in his arm the rest of the 2012 season.
Or R.A. Dickey winning his 20th game — the first Met to reach 20 wins since 1990 — in the Mets’ last home game of the 2012 season, which turned out to be Dickey’s last home game ever in a Mets uniform. It was enough to earn him the first Cy Young Award for a Met since 1985, an announcement made in November, shortly before Dickey’s last public appearance as a Met at the club Christmas party in December — which was less than a week before the Mets shipped the most popular player the franchise has had in years off to Toronto.
See the pattern? Mets fans can never enjoy any accomplishment or milestone without strings attached that make the whole thing seem compromised or borrowed.
Naturally, the winter that Mike Piazza became eligible for the Hall of Fame for the first time was the winter that no player secured enough votes to be inducted. When Piazza does finally gain enshrinement, there can’t be a Mets fan who hasn’t been jaded enough by all of the above who by now has probably resigned himself or herself to the eventuality that Piazza will probably end up sporting an interlocking “LA” on his cap whenever that Cooperstown plaque is prepared.
Not that he shouldn’t, of course, be wearing a Mets cap. But how, at this point, can we lack the cynicism to believe he will be, given all that has gone before this?
Too much skeptical whining for a March weekend?
Well, apparently Jeremy Hefner turned in some nice innings against the Braves in Florida Friday afternoon. That see-no-evil headline was given priority on the Mets’ MLB website over the far more significant news that David Wright could very well begin the 2013 season on the disabled list. Seems likely that Johan Santana will be joining him there, too.’
With all that, maybe it’s a good thing that the Mets will be opening at home within five minutes of the Yankees doing the same this year.