David Wright and Terry Collins made me love the Mets even more last night. The face of the franchise and the manager got into a shouting match in the dugout last night after Collins decided to pinch hit for Wright. Without all of the facts, it might sound like Wright was being a baby. However, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
In the top of the inning, reliever D.J. Carasco was ejected after (intentionally?) hitting reigning NL MVP Ryan Braun. Collins was worried that the Brewers would retaliate and hit Wright who was due up in the bottom of the inning. So, he decided to send rookie Jordany Valdespin to the plate. The game was decided at this point, with Milwaukee holding a comfortable 8-0 lead. Wright, who is hitting a MLB-best .408 this season, is the clear leader of the team and said “If anyone is going to get hit on this team, it’s me.” It was a classic battle of one-upmanship in the dugout. Both Wright and Collins doing what they know to be best for the team and getting into an argument about it.
DJ Carasco has no business hitting Ryan Braun and the fact that the 25th man on the roster can spark this debate between the manager and our star player is ridiculous. With that being said, Collins’ job is to protect his players, especially his best players, and Wright’s job is to lead the team. If that means getting plunked in retaliation due to one of baseball’s unwritten rules, then so be it. Both were just trying to do their job to the best of their ability and in doing so they definitely gained the respect of their teammates. Check out their post-game comments at the link below.
The Brewers didn’t hit any Mets and the teams don’t play again until September. We will see what happens then, but for now last night was another encouraging sign about the character of this team. I loved watching their passionate argument and even in an 8-0 loss, I have more reason to believe that this year’s team is a fiery and resilient group that will win more than it loses in 2012.