Becoming a feared hitter again true way for Wright to lead Mets

Written By kom nampuldu on Rabu, 04 Maret 2015 | 18.18

PORT ST. LUCIE — Leadership shows itself in many ways. On the field and in the clubhouse.

David Wright exerted his leadership Tuesday during an intrasquad game. After he left the game and entered the clubhouse while reporters were talking to pitcher Zack Wheeler in one corner, Wright spotted young pitcher Noah Syndergaard chowing down for lunch.

Syndergaard, who freely admitted on Monday he has a lot to learn, was told by Wright he should not be eating at that time — a clubhouse no-no during games — and instead he should be on the bench.

Wright made his point to Syndergaard, with Bobby Parnell's help, and soon Syndergaard was on the bench where he belonged.

That is true leadership and because the Mets are talking a big game this year — they must be focused on the task at hand. Wright did the right thing.

Now comes the other kind of leadership, the most important leadership, the on-the-field leadership.

Wright is going to have to prove he still is a leader in the batter's box. I'm all for chewing out a young player who was chewing when he should have been cheering, but in the big picture, the Mets desperately need David Wright's bat to speak loudly.

That is test Wright must pass this season after his injury-plagued 2014 when his left shoulder would not allow him to excel.

The pressure is on Wright like never before. He is accepting that pressure — that's leadership, too.

Wright has to come back and hit like David Wright.

That is the leadership the Mets need and it has to start against the Nationals in the first series of the season.

Can Wright, 32, still be that kind of leader?

"I've proven that I have a certain type of track record and I expect to live up to those expectations,'' Wright flatly said. "That's what I expect out of myself.

David WrightPhoto: Anthony J. Causi

"What I enjoy most about this game is that it is a one-on-one confrontation every pitch, every at bat, the chance that you can win that small confrontation.''

That is what fuels Wright. But he has to win more of those confrontations. He knows it.
Wright needs another year like 2010, when he blasted 29 home runs and knocked in 103 runs. The last two years Wright has hit a combined 26 home runs with 121 RBIs.

"I've proved that I can be a run producer,'' Wright said. "I take a great deal of pride in knowing that I have a significant role in the offense and making the offense go. When I play up to my capabilities, we're obviously a better offense, when I don't do that, we're not as good an offense.

"Hitting in the middle of the lineup, the run production for me needs to be there. When it's not there, it makes the offense more difficult, it shortens the lineup. It puts a lot of burden on other guys to pick up the slack and that's when guys start pressing, start doing too much.''

Wright knows better than anyone these Mets will only go as far as his bat takes them. He has more help in the lineup with his good friend Michael Cuddyer and, yes, Curtis Granderson should have a bigger year now that he is reunited with Kevin Long, but the pressure is on Wright to deliver.

"Anger doesn't motivate me, what drives me is success, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,'' Wright said. "I got a small taste of it early in my career, then all of a sudden you start taking some small steps backwards and then a couple of big giant leaps backwards, the desire and the passion is to feel what that is like again where every pitch matters.

"As a competitor that's what you dream about. There's nothing worse than coming into the clubhouse in September when the traveling secretary comes up to you and asks, what day do you want to leave to go home? That sucks.''

In order for that not to happen yet again, David Wright must again lead in the batter's box. Captain America has a lot on his plate.


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