It was just like the good old days for David Wright on Monday night…
For the last six weeks, the Mets have had one player consistently stand out on a daily basis.
Of course, that player is Yoenis Cespedes, who continues to rock the baseball world with his legendary performance as he has transformed the Mets offense into that of a championship contender.
But the Mets have another player that for years, manager Terry Collins has consistently labeled as a ,”star,” although lately severe injuries to his back and legs have hampered his ability to contribute in a manner stars normally do.
That’s the 32-year-old third baseman for the Mets, David Wright, who by any measure, has endured a lost season marred by a newly discovered condition which means more uncertainty going forward than anything else.
But between Wright, the club and team doctors who have managed Wright’s case of spinal stenosis, they have found a way to keep the third baseman fresh and productive throughout the process.
And on Monday night against the Marlins on a night which had the chill of what lies ahead for the Mets, the team’s captain delivered like the captain of old.
Wright went 2-for-4 with the go-ahead RBI double in the seventh inning which completed the Mets 38th come-from-behind win in 2015.
Just like the good old days for Wright, who in what seems like a lifetime ago, used to always be at the center of Mets wins.
“It was nice to come through, and it’s nice to feel a little more comfortable in the box and contribute,” Wright said after the win. “I think that’s the biggest thing – and the thing that everybody in here wants to do – is be part of this run and be part of this year. Just being able to contribute and be a part of this special thing is very cool.”
For what seemed like an eon, Wright was uncertain he would even be able to contribute to what has become a serious October threat. His four month absence from the game included taking up residence in Los Angeles so he could work daily with Dr. Robert Watkins, a renowned neck and back surgeon, with only a hope he could get himself on the field again.
Said Terry Collins, “If you had talked to David Wright in the month of May, late May, early June, the frustration in his voice, not knowing what kind of player he was going to be, if this was an injury that was going to keep him from being able to play at all this year, to come back and being a big part of what’s going on right now and helping us, it’s huge.”
As late as July, Wright didn’t know if that would be possible. But six weeks later, and after a grueling rehab process which includes week after week of physical therapy and some retraining of his muscles to protect his back condition, Wright found himself in a position to come back to his team and contribute.
And there’s no holding back for Wright, now that he’s here and playing semi-regularly.
“When I take the field I expect to perform at a certain level,” Wright explained. “When I took the field in Philadelphia for the first time, I felt good about it. I felt good about the work that I put in. I was proud that I was able to come back and hopefully help contribute.”
Just his presence alone has been invaluable to the Mets. After all he is the captain, the anchor for a mostly youthful team at it’s core with a lot of players who have yet to experience failure and adversity the way Wright has.
Of course, there aren’t many in the game who has experienced the failure and downright bizarre circumstances Wright has.
But while Wright is the unquestionable leader and symbol for the Mets, he’s also enjoying the renaissance the club is experiencing.
“It’s fun coming in here in the clubhouse, hooting and hollering, and the music’s up, September baseball,” he said. “It’s been a while since I’ve experienced coming in here and flipping on the TV to different games, and celebrating wins like that.”
He thinks the clubhouse is fun now. Just wait a week or so.