David Wright was NOT Disciplined

Despite at least one newspaper article to the contrary, David Wright was NOT BENCHED for disciplinary reasons on Sunday afternoon.

I’ll state it again, so that it is perfectly clear: the fact that David Wright stopped running about 15-20 feet before reaching home plate on Jeff Francoeur’s two-out single on Saturday had absolutely nothing to do with Wright being out of the lineup on Sunday.

In fact, it was a scheduled day off for Wright, planned at least 24 hours in advance of Sunday’s contest. That was confirmed by Howie Rose on WFAN during last night’s radio broadcast, and has also been confirmed by Manuel himself.

Furthermore, Manuel absolved Wright of some of the blame, and pointed the finger at Razor Shines. From that same article linked to above:

Manuel put some of the blame on third-base coach Razor Shines for telling Wright he could slow down going into home, but Manuel refused to totally excuse Wright’s lapse.

Scary, isn’t it, that the 3B coach would tell a runner to slow down in such a situation? With less than two outs and no play at the plate, I can understand it — you want to make sure the player doesn’t pull a hammy or something. But with two outs? Mysterious guidance from one of the men paid to lead the team.

So Wright wasn’t benched for slowing down, and some of the blame was passed over to the coach.

Now, whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing that Wright was NOT disciplined is up for you to decide. There’s another manager named Manuel who once benched his All-Star for disciplinary reasons, but there’s no proof that the move helped HIS team understand the importance of such things, nor did it help establish his status as the man in charge — right?

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Wendy September 29, 2009 at 9:36 am
    Joe, not to play apologist or devil’s advocate but is it possible that Wright’s season long nagging leg injuries had something or anything to do with his running on Saturday. He had a double last night and looked very uncomfortable for most of the game.

    Perhaps Razor Shines saw his discomfort on Saturday night and told him to ease up for his legs’s sake????

    So if he was pulled into Manuel’s office after Saturday’s game, that was a horse and pony show for the other players who thought he was being disciplined?

  2. isuzudude September 29, 2009 at 10:33 am
    Wendy, you are the biggest David Wright apologist this side of his mother. You gotta calm down with this love affair. I haven’t read or heard of anything regarding Wright having “nagging leg injuries.” This late in the season, with the Mets playing for nothing, if Wright were having such problems with his legs, why would he still be playing? Why not just shut him down? My guess is because there’s nothing at all wrong with his legs.

    There honestly comes a time when you have to put the bias aside and criticize Wright for being wrong. So what even if Shines told him to slow down? Baserunners run through 3rd base coaches’ stop signs all the time, so it’s not like Wright HAD to listen to that cockamamie advice. With 2 outs, regardless of how close the play at the plate is going to be, any baserunner with 10 minutes of baseball training knows to be running hard all the way home. You don’t have to slide headfirst if the throw comes in to second, but at least sprint to the plate. Wright didn’t do that, and so the placement of blame needs to be directed squarely on him. To provide him with any type of excuse for dogging it would just be more of the same crap we’ve grown to hate about this team. Beltran needed an excuse for not sliding. Church needed an excuse for missing third base. KRod needed an excuse for not nailing the save against Atlanta last week. Pitchers need excuses for not backing up home plate. Infielders need excuses for not covering their base. Outfielders need excuses for missing the cut off man. And the manager needs excuses for why his team is a complete failure. Enough with the excuses. It’s time to make these players act like men and take responisbility for their own ineptitude. If you allow the players to get away with not owning up to their own mistakes, we’re going to get A LOT more of the garbage we’ve seen this year in the future.

    By the way, is there any chance Razor Shines can get benched?

  3. joejanish September 29, 2009 at 10:40 am
    Wendy – sure, it’s possible that Shines wanted Wright to let up b/c of his leg. But my point is that this is not a “David Wright Thing” — it is simply a specific example of how this team has made fundamental mistakes, mental lapses, and given half-hearted effort all too often since Opening Day — with and without “the cavalry”.

    It all goes back to the man in charge — who, in my opinion, is not in charge at all.

  4. Wendy September 29, 2009 at 10:53 am
    dude, sticks and stones you throw at me really do not bother me so don’t waste your time with namecalling, deaf ears.

    if you had not heard about nagging leg injuries than you have not been paying attention, Jerry Manuel talks about them a lot, strain behind the right knee and nagging groin pull in left leg.

    Yes, he was wrong for not busting it down the line, no question, i never said otherwise, just saying that he may have been given bad advice, thats all.

  5. Wendy September 29, 2009 at 11:05 am
    Joe, yes agreed, this attitude has been there from day one this year and Jerry let it go because he was so obsessed with the injuries and using them as excuses.

    He has said that unless he feels that the laziness or mistakes is some kind of rebellion, he will not discipline a player, and obviously in his mind, the mistakes are just that mistakes, no malice is felt so he does not want to make federal cases out of it, he just wants to make sure that Wright as the leader of the team sets the good example, but as manager, its up to him to educate on what is acceptable and what is not, regardless of where the player falls on the food chain.

  6. CatchDog September 29, 2009 at 11:23 am
    WoW. It just keeps getting better!

    From “accountability” and “BABIP” to possible DW leg issues, it just keeps getting better. Oh, the joys of being a Met fan. 4pm Sunday is almost here.

    Keep up the good work Joe.

  7. joejanish September 29, 2009 at 11:39 am
    Wendy – thanks for the explanation from Jerry Manuel. Would you happen to have links to those quotes, or reference me to the source? I may want to write a post based on that thinking.

    Thank you!

  8. isuzudude September 29, 2009 at 11:41 am
    Name calling, Wendy? I called you no name, I simply disputed your remarks. If that offends you then may I advise you to get some thicker skin.

    The only mention of a leg injury I could find on rotoworld.com concerning David Wright appeared on August 12 and read, “…the soreness in his knee was “no big deal.”” I then googled “David Wright nagging leg injuries” and the first hit that came up was an article on the bleacher report that, coincidentally, was written BY YOU on Aug 31. The second hit was another article penned by you from Sept 15. I came across one article on nj.com that made reference to Jerry saying Wright had “nagging injuries,” but he did not specifically mention that they were leg injuries, and this quote came way back on Aug 15, before Wright had over 2 weeks to rest thanks to the concussion he recieved from a Matt Cain fastball. If nothing else, these nagging leg injuries have been overblown by David Wright apologists who want to point to anything but his own flaws to explain why his season has been so poor.

    Additionally, you were not “just saying that he may have been given bad advice, thats all.” You were alluding that Shines was giving Wright acceptable advice based on the notion that Wright’s legs are hurt. But I contend that Wright’s legs are not hurt, and that, regardless of Shines’ advice, Wright should have been running hard anyway because that’s what you’re supposed to do in baseball. Don’t try to pull the wool over my eyes.

    As for this: “he [Jerry] just wants to make sure that Wright as the leader of the team sets the good example, but as manager, its up to him to educate on what is acceptable and what is not.” If you really think that it’s a manager’s duty to explain to his players that it is unacceptable to play the game at less than 100%, then I don’t know if it’s possible to have a rational discussion. Because when, then, do we EVER blame the players for anything? I dislike Jerry Manuel as manager as much as anybody, but not even I’m willing to make him this big of a scapegoat.

  9. Wendy September 29, 2009 at 11:49 am
    Joe, Jerry Manuel addressed that issue last week on his radio broadcast on FAN radio when he was asked about the Daniel Murphy play in Philly that Sunday night.

    He said that he believes most of the baserunning blunders and other mental mistakes are from trying too hard, not from any ill will or rebellion.

    I don’t have any print references, just what i heard on radio, i’m sure the archive is there on the website.

  10. Wendy September 29, 2009 at 11:52 am
    dude, whatever, you and i should just agree to disagree, nothing wrong with the thickness of my skin believe me, but the “biggest apologist this side of his mother” and “love affair” references are way over the line.

    I’m sure the leg injuries that occurred during the early part of the season were helped by resting after the concussion, but going back to everyday play could have possibly aggravated them again, that was my point, if you took it otherwise, my bad.

  11. […] of Wright, Joe Janish of Mets Today seems angry that Wright was not punished for his base running mistake last […]
  12. joejanish September 29, 2009 at 12:17 pm
    Thanks Wendy, I missed that one. I’ll definitely check it out on the WFAN site.

    If he really said those things, that’s pretty funny. I don’t think anyone not named Milton Bradley ever is lazy or has mental lapses because of rebellion or ill will … it’s because they’re simply not taught winning habits!

    Thanks again.

  13. Wendy September 29, 2009 at 1:49 pm
    Joe, not a problem, he talked about both Daniel Murphy and Angel Pagan and their baserunning blunders and how its frustrating but its their eagerness more than anything else.

    I wish i had a tape recorder in my car when i’m driving listening to his broadcasts, sometimes its a miracle i dont’ flip my car over i’m in such a state of shock sometimes.

  14. John September 29, 2009 at 2:35 pm
    If he knows what he did was wrong and accepts responsibility for it, why should he be disciplined? He’s a grown man, not a child. He doesn’t need a time out to realize he did something wrong.
  15. joejanish September 29, 2009 at 2:54 pm
    Because “sorry doesn’t walk the dog”.

    Again, this isn’t a post about David Wright, it’s a post about Jerry Manuel and his inability to run a tight ship.

    These type of incidents have been going on since Opening Day, and back to 2008, without any action taken by the manager — because “the players will hopefully police themselves”.

    Well that theory hasn’t worked for two years running (maybe 3). Yet Manuel continues to sit back and “hope” that his players will suddenly begin to focus and hustle 100% of the time, rather than doing something constructive.

    Just because these are “grown men” doesn’t mean that they don’t need to be disciplined. Obviously something needs to change if the same things happen over and over. If you don’t like the word “discipline” then call it “motivation”.

    And I’m not sure that they live in the same “grownup world” as you and I.

  16. gary s. September 29, 2009 at 3:57 pm
    here’s the bad news boys and girls.This team is full of chokers and prima donna’s and guys that don’t play hard.we have a failed g.m. and a second rate manager.The seats in citifield are too high and the fences are too far and we built a rotunda to honor a former brooklyn dodger.With all this said, our mentally challenged owners see no reason to make any changes for next year.Here’s the good news, the jets and giants are 3-0.My advice is to start watching football.don’t waste your time on these losers till the spring.
  17. JJ September 29, 2009 at 10:28 pm
    Stupid mistake by Wright, sadly not that close to the top of the list of dumb things the Mets have done this yr. He apologized for the screw up, took the blame and didn’t make excuses, so I think Jerry was in the right in not benching him for it. It was just a bad play, players do generally slow down when they know they are going to score easily, but that play was just Wright not knowing the situation. And while the blame does go on Wright for the play, it does seem like Razor Shines has at least been in someway involved in a number of the awful baserunning plays showcased by the Mets this yr. Hopefully he’ll be replaced next season.

    And while I don’t think it had anything at all to do with what happened on that play, Wendy wasn’t making up the stories about Wright having some leg injuries this season. Jerry mentioned it several times, as did some reporters right around the time he went on the DL with the concussion.

  18. joejanish September 30, 2009 at 12:41 am
    JJ – thanks for the input.

    I would be surprised to see Shines return in 2010. Which is too bad, because he supposedly is a great personality to have around — but he is clearly out of his element as a third base coach. Yet another example of Jerry Manuel’s inadequacy as a “manager” of personnel. Had Shines been moved to another coaching position (1B coach?), he might’ve been spared — like Sandy Alomar had been (remember how awful he was in the same job? his nickname was “Don Quixote” because his arm was like a perpetual windmill).

    As for Wright, to reiterate, this post is more about the entire team, this entire season, and how it escaped discipline / correction / motivation all year.