By Zach Gewelb
David Wright announced last week in an emotional news conference that he plans to retire after taking the field one last time against the Miami Marlins Sept. 29.
Wright will be activated from the disabled list Sept. 25 and may appear in a game prior as a pinch-hitter, but he will be in the starting lineup for the final time in his illustrious career on the last Saturday of the season.
“The goal when I was injured was to come back as the player I expected myself to be. Once things ramped up and baseball activities got tougher… it became apparent to me that goal was just I want to put this uniform on again,” Wright said in the Sept. 13 news conference at Citi Field. “I needed the baseball stuff. I needed the [rehab] games for my body to finally tell me it’s not working.”
There had been talk that the Mets would not give Wright is final chance. The Mets have recovered 75 percent of his salary while Wright has been on the disabled list. When he’s activated, the Mets — who don’t have the best reputation when it comes to finances and payroll — will assume the $641,711 remaining on his contract this year.
Wright has $27 million remaining on his contract through 2020, but the club is expected to reach an insurance settlement.
With the finances taken care of, it made too much sense for the Mets to give Wright an opportunity to ride off into the sunset. It doesn’t benefit just Wright, as fans will also have one final chance to say goodbye to their captain.
“Giving him the chance to return to the field is the right thing to do for David, our organization and for the fans,” COO Jeff Wilpon said.
Wright deserves this opportunity. He has dedicated so much time and effort to get back on the field and was rightfully crushed when it became apparent resuming his career was nothing more than a dream.
And the fans deserve a chance to see Wright return to the field — even if it is only for one game.
The Mets come out as winners in this, too. The team has played well-below expectations, and drawing fans have proven to be difficult as the season has progressed. But ticket sales for Wright’s final game have soared.
According to Sean Burns, the Market Director at ticke
There are three winners in Wright’s send off. Wright gets his chance to say goodbye to the fans, and the Mets get to honor a franchise hero while boosting their ticket sales.
It’s been a long time coming, but this is truly a best-case scenario for all parties involved given the circumstances.
Now, it’s up to Wright to write a happy ending to his storybook career.
Reach reporter Zach Gewelb by e-mail at zgewe