Jeff Wilpon Ticks Off David Wright
Has David Wright finally grown a backbone, and discovered a voice? Is he now ready to speak his mind, rather than provide diplomatic canned quotes? Are we going to find out who David Wright really is this year?
From the Daily News:
COO Jeff Wilpon on Monday presented each member of the team with an orange T-shirt depicting the “U” symbol from the 1960’s TV cartoon “Underdog.” While most Mets, including manager Terry Collins, appeared to enjoy the stunt, Wright wasn’t thrilled.
“I don’t really like using the whole underdog thing. I don’t really like playing that card,” Wright said. “I think it’s just a way to remind everybody in here that the outside expectations aren’t the expectations that we have for ourselves.
“But we in here kind of have to rally around that and get it going,” Wright continued. “I guess, at the end of the day, that is kind of an underdog theme, but we shouldn’t view ourselves as that. We’ll let everybody else view ourselves as that, because I think we kind of know what we’re capable of doing.”
Mr. Wright makes valid points. He also has blatantly poo-pooed an ill-conceived motivational tactic by his boss. The idea of the “Underdog” T-shirt in and of itself may not have been ill-conceived, but the fact it came from Jeff Wilpon destroyed any hope of it having an impact on the players. Stuff like that has to come from the players themselves — not from an outsider. And yes, the COO of a baseball team is an outsider. Sorry, Jeff, but that’s the way baseball teams work — you’re not “one of the guys”, you’re the boss, and therefore whatever you provide them as “encouragement” is seen as something forced, something they have to do.
I wonder, Will Wright make more comments like this going forward? In other words, is he coming out of his “good boy” shell to say what he really feels, rather than try to fulfill the image of The Face of the Franchise? Could this change in behavior be in any way related to the rumors that Wright will be traded by July 31st, and/or the Mets’ inaction in regard to initiating a contract extension for Wright?
Stay tuned, this could turn into an (under)dogfight.