Mailbag: Should the Mets make David Wright an official Captain?

Jon B to MetsBlog: “Why have the Mets not made David Wright a captain? With all of this talk about quitting, wouldn’t being a designated captain among the players empower Wright to kick a little ass in that clubhouse and keep guys playing hard? Doesn’t the lack of endorsement undercut his ability to lead? Or am I putting the cart before the horse and Wright just not the leader we all want him to be?”

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

The actual C stitched to the jersey only matters to a point. I think Wright has the freedom and endorsement of management to do what is necessary to ‘keep people in line,’ so to speak. He is a leader. He does everything you’d want. This team’s issue isn’t Wright’s leadership skills, Jon, it’s the level of talent you are asking him to lead…

In regards to whether the C matters, I actually think it has more to do with how he responds and how his teammates react. Also, I think it depends on the organization and the context that it is happening. I mean, the Red Sox put a C on Jason Varitek’s uniform, but, while the Yankees call Derek Jeter ‘the Captain,’ he has no physical C on his chest. Why the difference? For the Mets, and where they are right now in their history, as fans tune in and out and look for reasons to believe, I think giving Wright a new contract and slapping a C on his chest could send super strong indication of how serious they are about what he means to the fans and franchise, it could speak to where they’re going, what he’s done and – most important – it can be a tangible item (a literal branding) that says, ‘This is how we want our players to play.’ In other words, I think it can matter. It’s not inherent. It’s not the end-all, be-all to winning and it certainly isn’t more important that actually acquiring power hitters for the outfield. But, in the right situation (and I think this is one of them), I think it can have a helpful impact.

Michael Baron, Contributor

In watching and listening to David Wright in the dugout and in the clubhouse this past season, I think he is the de facto leader of this team already. During games, he is a principal motivator, he talks to him teammates in the dugout about situations that unfold and he – along with Daniel Murphy – are the group’s two top cheerleaders. Other players have said publicly that Wright leads by example, and so I think his peers view him in that leadership role anyway, even though the C isn’t sewn on his jersey.