As Opening Day drew closer, it started to resonate more with Mets third baseman David Wright that Monday's home opener against San Diego will mark the first game of his captaincy. On the eve of the game, Wright is excited for what should be a proud day for the third baseman.
"It's going to be pretty special," Wright said before the team's workout Sunday. "Opening Day is already just so cool but to be introduced as the captain, that's pretty special. It's something I didn't really think about until a couple of days [ago] and then started thinking about it, it's going to be pretty special and obviously a memorable Opening Day for me."
The Mets officially named Wright their fourth captain on March 21, bestowing him with the title just a few months after handing him an eight-year, $138 million contract that ensures he'll be the face of the franchise as the team tries to build a contender. Wright, 30, has played nine seasons with the Mets and is coming off an All-Star year during which he hit .306 with 21 homers and 93 RBIs.
Opening Day had been a question mark during the spring for Wright, as he suffered a strained intercostal muscle injury that forced him to withdraw from the World Baseball Classic. He returned this weekend, going 0-for-3 and playing five innings in the field Friday and Saturday, but said he would be ready for Monday. Wright said on Sunday he feels good physically.
"It would have been nice to maybe get a few more at-bats toward the end but I didn't have that luxury. I think it was more important to take the extra day or two and make sure I was more pain free," Wright said. "I felt good the last few days of getting those at-bats and I think having played in the WBC and the four or five spring training games before that, it allowed me to take those four or five extra days toward the end and we got rid of some of the inflammation that was in there."
As Wright analyzes this currents Mets squad, which is once again picked to finish near the bottom of the NL East, he describes it as "scrappy." The Mets could be in for another tough year as they traded starter R.A. Dickey to Toronto and lost pitcher Johan Santana for the year, as he will undergo surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder, and didn't bring in much to bolster the team in free agency.
"You look up and down our roster, you're not going to see a lot of household names, you're not going to see a lot of flash or that sexiness per se, but I think you got a room full of guys that don't have those egos, that know how to play team baseball," Wright said. "We practiced that this spring, playing that winning, team baseball and unselfishness. I think the teams that do well are the teams that have bought into that team concept where it's that win at all costs, who cares who gets the big hit, who cares how many hits you get. Bottom line is wins and I think we have a group of guys that have bought into that."