Wednesday, May 16, 2012

N.Y. Mets ~ Fireworks in the Dugout; Shut Out on the Field

From the desk of:   HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET

NEW YORK METS:  David Wright Blows a Gasket in the Dugout.  And it is Good!  He and Terry Collins Show Everyone Their Heads Are in the Right Place.

That was a wonderful exchange between David Wright and Terry Collins in the dugout which  followed D.J. Carrasco getting tossed from the game after hitting Ryan Braun with a pitch to the shoulder, which not incidentally, proceeded Carrasco surrendering a home run to Rickey Weeks on his previous pitch.  For that, the pitcher was promptly tossed.

The game was well in Milwaukee's favor at that point, and David Wright was due to lead off the next Mets' at-bat.  Coach Terry pulled David for a pinch hitter and thus, denied the Brewers any opportunity at retaliation against Wright.

I totally understand was Coach Collins was trying to do.  He was protecting what we will call for argument sake, Mister Met.  David Wright already suffered one career altering beaning.  He doesn't need another.  David is in the midst of a tremendous season in which he recently touched the .400 mark in batting average.  And in all likelihood, without him in the middle of line-up, the Mets current success at the plate comes to a griding halt.  You take that into consideration, then you add the rumor the Mets are about to offer David a long-term deal to remain a Met, Coach Collins was in no position to take any chances with the franchise's top player, nor the Mets' season.

The initial confrontation looked respectful, but it was clear David Wright was firm, filled with conviction, not all too happy, and in total disagreement with his manager.  The two were again later shown huddled next to each other with David Wright still emphatically pleading his case.  And still, David Wright did not appear to be a bit happy.  Again, he never appeared to be disrespectful though.

This perhaps proves once and for all, Terry Collins is not the same hot head he was back with the Angels and with Houston.  He is still passionate.  We all know that well.  A conflict of interest like this however, once might have escalated, or even exploded into something much more destructive to the team.  Back then, there was a good chance Terry would have been a powder keg getting his fuse lit.

Terry Collins absorbed every bit of David Wright's disagreement, and even his dramatics if I may, in the dugout, in front of the team, accompanied by an elevated tone of voice.  The newer Terry Collins however, remained collected throughout.  And not for a second, do I feel Terry Collins lost any of the grip he maintains over this team for it.  This was not that kind of open defiance.  This was not Reggie Jackson versus Billy Martin.  I wonder if it could have been if this were between David Wright, and say Willie Randolph?  Above all, instead I feel Terry Collins, as well as David Wright, only advanced their stature on the team with this incident.

If we are all correct to assume - David Wright is relishing his role as leader of these newer Mets.  His great start this season if anything, is a testament to that.  He has never looked more comfortable during this imposed role as Face of the Franchise.  He's been more outspoken about that, and has never been more candid (about anything) than he has this year.  If pressed for an impression, I sense David is a person who is willing to stay with the Mets for below value of one of those blockbuster contracts.  We'll see about that.

But David Wright wanted to be at-bat in that situation.  David Wright wanted to show his team how to keep playing when you know adversity is preparing to descend upon you.  David Wright wanted to put himself in that position after knowing full well, the amount of time it took him to recover from his last beaning.  David Wright wanted to take this situation into his hands and cement the attitude of a team.  And that's all admirable.  To me, this outburst by David Wright goes further to forward his leadership, his respect level, and embodies of the qualities the Media has bestowed upon him, more than any other event in his Met career.

In a game in which the Mets got dominated by Zack Greinke, and with little else good to speak of, this was a great development as far as I'm concerned.  Through adversity, character is revealed.  And sometimes, defining moments find you.

Let's Go Mets!

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