By, Connor Green
This Captain America could never save cities from the brink of destruction and he does not have a shield strong enough to knock out his enemies, however the baseball world has its own “Captain America”. That man is New York Mets third baseman, David Wright, Wright has been playing baseball for twelve seasons and has made his mark on the franchise. Once an all-star and gold-glove caliber player, Wright spends most of his time now on the DL (designated list) now and has drastically decreased in his abilities.
David has the most RBI’s (runs batted in) in New York Mets history with 970 and has had five seasons with over 100 RBI’s. Wright earned the nickname “Captain America” during his stint on the United States Olympic team and has had countless memorable moments in the spotlight both in New York and during the Olympics. David was named the Mets “captain” and has been on the New York Mets his entire career and has become an icon for all die hard Mets fans.
Throughout the many losing seasons, the miserable losses, the heartbreaking defeats David Wright has always been there, providing momentary relief to all Mets fans who could barely stand to watch anymore. Wright was the Mets, he was the lifeblood of a team that struggled to even remain in contention by the midway point in the season. Wright has seven All-Star appearances (his latest was 2013), two Gold Gloves, and two Silver Sluggers. Wright has been with the Mets through the good times and the bad, he has only been to the playoff’s twice in his lengthy career (last year it was the World Series), but even throughout the bad times (and there was a lot of those) Wright was the perfect embodiment of a captain leading his team both throughout his actions on and off the field.
In 2013 the Mets agreed to extend David Wright’s contract for seven years, 122 million dollars. Under contract Wright will be a Met through his age 37 season and will likely retire a Met. Wright has struggled tremendously this year with a .226 batting average (although his .350 OBP is still above average) and now will be sent back to the sidelines with yet another injury. This was not what the Mets had envisioned when they gave him that lengthy, expensive contract extension and although as a Mets fan I am saddened by what has come of David Wrights career, he is still and will always be a legend in my eyes. Wright has shown loyalty found rarely in the sports world and has put together an amazing career highlighted by remarkable plays in the field and walk-off hits.
Wright may be on the decline, but any true Mets fan should remember him as both the spiritual and physical leader of a team that really needed guidance. Wright gave thousands a reason to watch the struggling Mets and even though the Mets have new stars now Mets fans need to always show respect to the once great player. Oh, and one more thing…LETS GO METS.
With the NFL season fast approaching many teams begin to assess their strengths and weaknesses, for the New York Jets that means the ever so important quarterback position. Reports have recently come out that the Jets will not sign there starter from last season, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and that leaves the Jets in an undesirable situation. Although there is still time left there seems to be a real possibility that the Jets will have a quarterback “competition” between Geno Smith, Christian Hackenberg, and Bryce Petty. The options listed are hardly desirable, however they all have two things in common: they are young and inexpensive.
So, assuming that the Jets will not be able to come to terms with Fitzpatrick before the season starts let’s break down each potential Jets starting quarterback.
Geno Smith: Smith is the veteran of the bunch at twenty five years old and also carries with him more NFL starting experience than the other two candidates combined. Smith missed almost all of last season because of injury and in his previous two years playing he was not a very good player. Smith threw for 21 interceptions in his rookie season paired with only 12 passing touchdowns, Smith finished that season with a career low passer rating of 66.5. The next season, although Smith improved significantly, he still struggled to finish with both 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, ending the season with an improved passer rating of 77.5. Smith was drafted in the second round out of West Virginia back in 2013 and despite his struggles he still may be the best candidate for the role of starting quarterback.
Bryce Petty: Petty is also twenty five years old, but lacks any NFL playing time as he enters his second season of his career. Petty is a long shot candidate for this job and when the Jets drafted him in the fourth round out of Baylor they certainly did not expect him to be starting this early in his career (if ever), but everyone is in the running for the Jets starting quarterback job and certainly crazier things have happened.
Christian Hackenberg: The twenty one year old fresh faced rookie out of Penn State will likely be in a competitive battle for this job against Geno Smith. Hackenberg was drafted in the second round, like Smith, and with the Jets situation seemingly getting more desperate Hackenberg might just be the guy who comes in and saves the day for the Jets.
This is only a hypothetical right now, but with the NFL season fast approaching and the Jets running out of options it looks like this might soon become a reality.
Baseball fans remember back in 2014 the “retirement tour” for future Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees. It was one of the “Captains” worst seasons of his prestigious career in which he hit for a .256 average (lowest of his career with over 200 plate appearances) and managed to end his season with a horrific 0.2 WAR (Wins Above Replacement). Jeter also played below average defense in his final year and it was a dismal season for an otherwise fantastic player. That is sadly usually how retirement goes in the sports world, even for legends, the end is usually nowhere as glamorous as one might imagine it too be.
That stigma is not true, so far, for the Boston Red Sox famed designated hitter known as “Big Papi” aka David Ortiz. Ortiz is now forty years old, but is playing some of the best baseball of his career and has been one of the many reasons the Red Sox find themselves atop the American League East (29-20). The Red Sox also currently have the best winning percentage in the American League (.592, only behind the Chicago Cubs, .702, and the San Francisco Giants, .608).
Papi is also finding much individual success in his final season (although some speculate his retirement now) currently leading the MLB in RBI’s (runs batted in) and posting an incredible .339 batting average. Ortiz is living the dream finale right now and with the help of great young hitters like Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts everything is looking up for the likely future Hall of Fame star.
In comparison to Jeter’s final season Ortiz’s WAR right now through 49 games is 2.4, which is 2.2 more than Jeter finished with in his final season.
Author: Connor Green
Last year the New York Met’s reached the pinnacle of success in baseball, they won the NLCS and appeared in their first World Series since 2000. The only problem was that the Mets lost the championship to the Kansas City Royals, however the Mets still a bright future ahead of them, largely due in part to their set of dominant, young starting pitchers. Coming into this season the Mets “big three” set of starting pitchers was Matt Harvey, Jacob Degrom, and Noah Syndergaard.
The Mets are currently in second place in the NL East with a record of 26-19, which has them trailing the Washington Nationals by a game-and-a-half. The Mets “big three” seems to have shifted with the simply awful performance thus far by Matt Harvey, also known as the “Dark Knight, who currently holds a 6.08 ERA (earned run average) and a 3-7 record.
Syndergaard and Degrom have performed very well this season, especially Syndergaard who has the 4th lowest ERA in the National League, and Bartolo Colon, the Mets forty three year old pitcher, has also performed adequately so far. With Wheeler still sidelined by injury the Mets still needed to replace the production that Harvey has been lacking, and the Mets found it in an unlikely source, another young pitcher, Steven Matz. Matz currently has the highest win total among Mets pitcher with an impressive 6-1 record coupled with an incredible 2.81 ERA that has the young lefty turning heads. With Harvey facing unprecedented struggles pretty much all season, Matz and Colon both picked up their games and have helped the Mets rotation keep it’s high level of play.
Steven Matz will be pitching today against the NL East leading Washington Nationals, starting at 1:05 P.M. ET (Eastern Time) the Mets look to close in on the Nationals division lead tonight with the help of their young “ace”.
By Connor Green