Former New York Mets third baseman David Wright will be the first to admit when one thinks of “The Captain” in New York baseball circles, it is Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter who comes to mind. Nonetheless, Wright was a great player and served as the Mets team captain from 2013 through the end of his career in 2018. That is why he shouldn’t feel guilty titling his autobiography, “The Captain” (Dutton).
Last week I spoke with Anthony DiComo, who served as Wright’s co-author and is well-known to Mets fans as the team’s MLB.com beat reporter.
DiComo admitted Wright was surprised to get the go-ahead from Penguin Random House, which owns Dutton Books, because there is no dirt to be dished here.
That’s not to say Wright doesn’t provide any behind-the-scenes stuff.
He praises utility player Joe McEwing for being a mentor when he came up to the Mets at the end of the 2004 season and to outfielder Cliff Floyd for buying him suits and instructing him on how to conduct himself as a big leaguer, especially on the road.
The closest thing to qualify as controversy during Wright’s tenure as captain was during spring training 2015 when he chastised then-rookie pitcher Noah Syndergaard for eating lunch in the clubhouse while an intra-squad game was in progress. Wright saw these games as a valuable way for a rookie to learn and still has no regrets about his intent. He was mortified to learn however that his lecture to Syndergaard was seen by some media members. He quickly apologized to Syndergaard for not having been more aware about their lack of privacy which led to needless embarrassment for both fo them.
A key reason why David Wright is so beloved by Mets fans was his desire to spend his entire career in Flushing. He acknowledges he was worried he would be traded after his infield neighbor, shortstop Jose Reyes, left in 2011 as a free agent without receiving a contract offer. Wright did get the deal he was looking for in 2013.
Anthony DiComo believes David Wright could have been successful in endeavors outside of baseball. A case in point is how he had the foresight to accept an equity interest in a startup beverage company, Whitestone-based Glaceau, which was founded by Middle Village native Mike Repole. Wright made a fortune when Coca-Cola purchased Glaceau.
The last few chapters of “The Captain” are not easy reading as Wright and DiComo provide painstaking details of the many back and neck surgeries and post-surgical rehab work he had to endure to try to get back on the field from 2016 through 2018. It was in late summer of 2018 when even the ever-optimistic Mets captain realized he couldn’t overcome these maladies.
“The Captain” is must read for both Mets fans and future orthopedic surgeons.
I have the feeling former New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, who is best remembered for fumbling a football when he ran into the keister of his own teammate, offensive lineman Brandon Moore, during a game from hell against the New England Patriots in 2012, had to have felt a sense of deja vu last week.
New York Giants QB Daniel Jones did something nearly as embarrassing when he was able to gallop away from Philadelphia Eagles defenders on a long run only to lose his balance and stumble six yards from the end zone. The good news for Jones was the Giants were able to score a touchdown a few plays later. The bad news is they coughed up an 11-point lead with roughly five minutes left in the game as the G-men lost to the Eagles in Philadelphia 22-21.
One of the funniest tweets I have seen in a long time occurred during the first half of Sunday’s Bills-Jets game as Gang Green was enjoying a rare 10-3 lead. A Jets fan wrote “Is it time to start talking to (Jets head coach) Adam Gase about a contract extension?” Of course the winless Jets reverted back to inept form in the second half as they lost to Buffalo by a score of 18-10.
If you are a fan of pop culture/entertainment, the 7th annual Vulture Magazine confab, Vulture Festival (vulturefestival.com), runs virtually through Friday. Among those taking part are South Jamaica hip-hop star and President Trump endorser, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.
Fans of television can watch the casts and writers of television shows such as TBS’s “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” the CW’s “Supernatural,” and HBO’s new Sunday night drama, “The Undoing,” engage in Q&A as part of the Paley Center’s annual Paley Fest NY. Log onto paleycenter.org