February 9, 2008
Meet David Wright, the Real Mr. Met (BEN SHPIGEL, 2/10/08, NY Times)
When Brian Schneider was traded to the Mets from the Washington Nationals in November, his first phone call came from the Nationals’ general manager, Jim Bowden. Then he heard from Omar Minaya, the Mets’ general manager. Almost immediately after he hung up with Minaya, his cellphone buzzed again. It was a text message from one of his new teammates. “It’s D-Wright,” the message began.Posted by Orrin Judd at February 9, 2008 3:38 PM
“It was like right away,” Schneider said in a telephone interview. “I’m barely on the team and he’s already reaching out. Shows what kind of guy he is.”
As he did after Paul Lo Duca and Doug Mientkiewicz, among others, joined the Mets, David Wright, the team’s All-Star third baseman, wanted to be the first to welcome Schneider and to let him know that if he had any questions, any at all, to call him. Wright also called Ryan Church, who was traded with Schneider, and attended Johan Santana’s introductory news conference Wednesday, having rearranged his schedule to do so.
“No matter how many years of experience you have in baseball, it’s a different experience playing in New York,” Wright said Thursday afternoon. “Although I’m young, I know what to expect. I know what it’s like. I feel extremely comfortable. I’ve lived here for four years now, and I know a few ins and outs that come along with playing baseball in New York. Am I a salty veteran? Absolutely not. But I do have a little bit of knowledge of what to expect over 162 games.”
At age 25 and preparing to enter his fourth full season in the major leagues, Wright is in a unique position. Already admired by his peers for his professionalism and accountability, Wright, for the first time in his brief career, will be expected to assume part of a leadership void created when Lo Duca and Tom Glavine were not re-signed.