As of Saturday morning, it looked as if David Wright was heading to the disabled list with a broken pinkie and the Mets were going to shift Daniel Murphy to third base in his absence. That would mean, if you agree with the editorial thrust of this site, two items of bad news very early in a Mets season otherwise rife with unfamiliar positivity.
Wright is, at 29, the team’s all-time leader in offensive WAR and total bases. He is second in batting average, third in OPS, second in runs scored, second in RBI, third in hits and fourth in home runs.
Whenever Wright leaves, he will depart either arguably or definitely the best position player in Mets’ history. And he’s the type of dude who plays through broken backs and broken pinkies — the guy who, according to Terry Collins, was eager to pinch-run last week when he couldn’t do anything else with his swollen finger bandaged up. And he turns the other cheek when the owner of the team rips him in the New Yorker, and says nothing when the club opens up a park that seems expressly designed to sap him of his extra-base power.
Wright set an absurdly high standard in 2007 and 2008, failed to match it despite solid seasons in 2009 and 2010, then endured an injury-riddled and merely OK 2011.
But, though every small-sample-size caveat applies, Wright’s season-opening hot stretch provides the dwindling legion of Mets fans still rooting for the Face of the Franchise with some hope he can return (or has already returned!) to being the MVP-caliber player he was a few years ago.
And I could try to draw all sorts of big-picture conclusions about what that would mean for Wright’s rumored contract-extension talks and the team’s chances in 2012, but it all really boils down to this: That would be cool.