Reasons to Look Forward to MLB 2009
(Note the reversal of the title and subtitle, for those of you keeping close track)
All right. I'll admit it. David Wright isn't exactly a superstar. Perhaps some of the shine has come off because he slumps at the times the Mets need him the most. But he's far from a disappointment - in fact, he's one of the top players in the game. I'd put him at the level just below superstar (a spot occupied by his teammate Johan Santana, among others).
And he's still a reason to look forward to the new baseball season.
First of all, he's a homegrown talent, and he's fun to root for. I swear - the day I find out David Wright isn't a genuinely good guy is the day I stop rooting for any professional athlete. He's a stand-up guy who hasn't backed down from the media in any situation - good or bad (and every season he's had with the Mets has ended in a disappointing fashion). He also has done everything to indicate that he is a quality individual.
He's also an exciting ballplayer. Though he strikes out a lot, and he hasn't proven to be tremendously clutch at this point in his career (he did have the Mets' lone RBI in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS), he's a lock to hit around .300, get somewhere around 30 HR, and collect more than 115 RBI. And he's improved from year to year, particularly on the defensive side.
I have my own little obsession with Wright as well; his assault on the all-time doubles record...or at least a team record. This will be an interesting year as far as that goes - Wright has always hit around 40 doubles. We'll see how Citi Field plays and whether or not it results in more doubles as a gap park, or maybe as more of a homer park, hurting his chances in this department.
The bottom line is that David Wright is one of the bright spots on what has become an otherwise disappointing team. And the fact that he alone can help me look forward to this season, coming off back-to-back heartbreaking playoff-missing seasons, makes him a very special player...if not a superstar.
This idea was going to originally be "Reasons to Look Forward to the Mets in 2009", but I realized there are probably going to be some general baseball reasons as well as Mets reasons. So I've expanded it. Most will have to do with the Mets. (Like this one.) Also, I'm counting up, rather than down, as we head towards the baseball season, because I'm just not sure how many items there will be in this feature. We'll go until we hit Opening Day.