Chris Young had a down year with the Oakland Athletics last year as a platoon player, but he is a former All-Star with power that could be due for a rebound year with the New York Mets. He has speed, plays solid defense and is only 30 years old. General manager Sandy Alderson may have just found a diamond in the rough.
David Wright may not be the official captain of the New York Mets, but he has already been donned Captain America in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
This is the same man who was denied a start at third base in the 2012 All-Star Game. The same man who was robbed of a Gold Glove last season. He had arguably the best season of his career, yet did not receive the proper recognition. Now the world knows: he is the leader of Team USA.
He is hitting for opposite field power, finding pitches to hit outside of the strike zone and flashing his leather. Wright sliced up some grand salami for Italy to feast on this past weekend and accounted for five of Team USA’s seven RBIs last night against Puerto Rico.
Never have I been so proud to be an American. Actually, I am half Korean and half white and tend to embrace my Asian heritage. I was rooting for Korea in the World Baseball Classic, but now it’s USA all the day.
And Wright is the reason for my newfound patriotism.
The Mets-Phillies game at CitiField on July 5, 2012 was my favorite game from last season. My friend and I went to CitiField one day earlier on a sweltering Independence Day in hopes of watching New York hand Philadelphia a patriotic rout. Instead we were on the receiving end. But hey, at least some obnoxious P-hat wearing Phillies hand got kicked out of the stadium.
The following day I called out of work and decided to watch the Mets game at home. It had everything I wanted: a matchup against a division rival while we still had playoff hopes, tension and a come-from-behind victory capped off, a walk-off courtesy of All-Star David Wright. Daniel Murphy tied up the game with some timely hitting, and Jordany Valdespin even induced a hit by pitch with a good at-bat to keep our 9th inning rally alive.
Oh, and Jonathan Papelbon blew the save and had to walk off the mound with his head down and a deafening roar from Mets fans.
I have not seen such a thrilling Mets game since then, but who knows what excitement the 2013 season will bring. No matter where we fall in the National League East, if I can live another moment that induces me to run around the house, scream and shout I will be content.