It seems that a rite of passage on this blog is my words being misconstrued. After Collapse II, I wrote the following:
"And I'm to the point now ... at this very moment ... if anybody besides Johan Santana were to leave this team, I'd shrug my shoulders in an act of indifference. That includes the Carloses, that includes Jose Reyes, that includes the very handsome David Wright, that includes everyone."I was subsequently told to shut up and stop feeling sorry for myself because I should feel lucky that we have David Wright and Jose Reyes on the team. Yeah, because at three in the morning after the last game at Shea Stadium in which the Mets choked another way another playoff berth, lucky was the first emotion to come to my mind.
Besides, feeling sorry for myself is the right and privilege of every American ... and I will fight for it.
No, nowhere did I say: "Let's go out and trade David Wright and Jose Reyes." No. I was merely making the point that on this team, right now, there's Johan Santana ... and there's everybody else. And if the fact that Johan pitched the best and most important game of his Met career with torn cartilage in his plant leg doesn't illustrate that, I don't know what does.
Reyes and Wright are the faces of this franchise ... in many ways they have been since they came up in 2003 and 2004. They have a chance to have careers that cement them as born and bred Mets ... the kind of Mets that generally don't just have some good years here as they're passing by, but the kind of Mets that have their best years, and spend most of their years, as Mets. They're core players that you just don't give away like babies that are in stale bathwater.
Look, Wright's transgressions in the clutch this season aren't from lack of effort or preparation, neither is it from a lack of pride in his work or caring about his craft and his organization. It's painfully obvious that his transgressions are from pressing and from trying too hard. And Reyes, also has weaknesses that have nothing to do with lack of preparation or caring. But the pockets of pickoffs that he's gone through exhibit somewhat of a lack of concentration during stretches.
But clearly, and as illustrated by people like hate list inductee Mike Francesa ... misguided as he may be on this ... the honeymoon is over for Wright and Reyes. They've been known as the future for so long they've gotten numerous passes from all of us. But the grace period ended as the era at Shea Stadium ended ... especially for Wright. And it's not fair. Reyes hasn't been quite as Teflon as Wright when it comes to criticism at home (he's gotten plenty of it from elsewhere from his dancing), but both have had their ascension to the forefront of the ballclub unchallenged for the most part. But now that they're there, it's time for the duo to shed their remaining weak points and take this game by the neck and shake the success out of it.
Criticisms of the two are nitpicky. But great players shed those criticisms nonetheless. It's time for Wright and Reyes to take the next step in their baseball lives.