New York Mets‘ All-Star third baseman and captain David Wright is back in the Home Run Derby, as everyone should know by now. This will be Wright’s second-ever derby appearance, and his first since the 2006 season … otherwise known as the last year the Mets were relevant in baseball.
In the 2006 Home Run Derby, which took place in Pittsburgh, Wright finished in second place, losing to Philadelphia Phillies first baseman, Ryan Howard. Even though Wright lost, I would say all Mets fans were very proud of him, since he isn’t really known as a home run hitter.
Wright definitely proved that day that he can hit the long ball — but it came at price.
After the 2006 All-Star Game, Wright, who had 22 homers before the derby, only hit a total of six home runs in the second half of the regular season. It became well known and pretty obvious that the Home Run Derby messed up Wright’s swing in the second half and thus resulted in a poor performance.
Should Mets fans be concerned of this happening again?
Yes and no. Yes, because it already happened before, but no because Wright is a very smart guy and I believe he has learned from his mistake seven years ago. Another reason why I believe Mets fans should not be as worried and concerned as they were in 2006 is because well … the Mets are just not a good team this year. The last time the Mets made the playoffs was seven years ago in 2006, where they lost in the NLCS in dramatic fashion against the St. Louis Cardinals.
This year however, the Mets are 41-50, so even though it isn’t completely impossible to make a playoff run this season, it is still very doubtful. So even if Wright does mess up his swing again, it’s really not gonna matter — sadly.
Can Wright win this years’ Home Run Derby? Of course he can. He almost did back in 2006, but I think Pittsburgh Pirates‘ Pedro Alvarez will have something to say about that.
Alvarez was a last second fill-in for Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who dropped out because of an injury. However, since he wasn’t a first choice of Wright to be in the derby, both he, Pirates’ fans and even the Pirates’ announcers were peeved to say the least.
Alvarez will have a lot to prove in this years’ contest, and I think he is motivated to beat Wright in any way possible.
Whoever wins, it doesn’t matter, but it is just an honor for Wright to be not only back in the Home Run Derby, but in the All-Star Game as well, which just so happens is being played at Citi Field, the home of the Mets. So Mets fans just sit back, relax, enjoy, and try not to worry about Wright’s swing, because it’s not like we are going anywhere this year unfortunately.