The Mets were defeated today by the Cardinals by a score of 3-2, though this game probably had more quantifiable positive developments than yesterday's 7-5 victory. Lucas Duda had not only a couple of hits, but a couple of hits off of Adam Wainwright. Matt Den Dekker laced a 2 run triple ... also off of Wainwright. And Jeremy Hefner wasn't awful today (although he threw a lot of balls for somebody who was touted as a strike thrower all spring, but hey ... we'll overlook that.)
The real "drama" if you will, came near the end of the game when the SNY crew announced that Terry Collins would have a special announcement after the game. Now this could have been anything from another fight in the family room to a new flavor of dipping sauce for the Box Frites stand. But we all knew what was coming, more or less. What we didn't see coming, and probably what we should have seen coming, was the total dumpster fire that the press conference coverage was. You could obviously tell that SNY is about as used to covering spring training post game press conferences as I am watching them. And obviously nobody told Collins that this one would be live, as the first words out of his mouth that were audible on television was part of an off the cuff conversation with a reporter:
"I can't see shit."
There's your special announcement, folks. Good night everybody!
Then when somebody asked about the special announcement right off the hop, we got this:
"How did you know about the special announcement?"
Well, it was only blasted in red letters at the bottom of the screen, so it didn't take a genius.
Then sometime in the middle of the announcements they cut back to the field and nobody spoke for fifteen seconds, so you knew that they weren't used to this. It was all quite hilarious and I'm glad I was witness to it.
Now to the actual announcements: First off, Jon Niese was officially named the Opening Day starter. Well, duh. With Johan Santana's angry mound session putting him out of action until July of 2017, there was really only one obvious direction to go in, and that was Niese. So good for him.
The second announcement was also not a huge surprise as David Wright was officially named the captain of the Mets, the fourth captain in team history. Nothing really changes with this, as Wright will continue to do the same things he's always done. This is merely ceremonial, as captains in baseball don't get to argue with the umpires about where the faceoffs will be and why Lucas Duda consistently gets two minutes for roughing when there's nobody within miles of him in left field. What concerned me about this was whether Wright being officially named captain would discourage anybody else in the room from taking a natural leadership role if it comes organically. But I'm not going to stress on a small negative much like people shouldn't make a huge deal out of some big positive they think will happen because of this. Because David Wright's leadership isn't going to get any better ... it's already at a high level. What's important is that Wright appreciates the honor and sees it for what it is:
"To be viewed in this light -- both by ownership, by [GM Sandy Alderson] and the front office, by the coaching staff and most importantly the players -- means a great deal to me. A dream come true, to say the least. Something I'm very, very proud about. I think that the responsibilities are kind of the same as what I've always tried to do. I'm not a real 'rah rah,' yell and scream kind of guy ... I think it's more lead by example. I'm going to take the responsibility seriously and with a great deal of pride."
The best part of all of this is that if it didn't happen, you'd have certain media scribes speculating on if Wright wasn't officially named captain because he hid his injury at the World Baseball Classic, which would have made me jump into a bathtub full of acid.
For those expecting Wright to wear a "C" on his shoulder as Keith Hernandez did, you'll be surprised to learn that there will be no "C" on Wright's jersey:
"Part of it is my personality. I don’t necessarily like to stick out too much. I think the uniform is uniform for a reason."
And a uniform with a "C" on it would have been sold for $300 at the team store and on the Mets website. So Wright deserves a ton of credit for not giving fans who already have a Wright jersey a difficult decision on whether to get a brand new one with a "C". The wallets of your fans thank you, David.
Though Wright does reserve the option to tattoo a big C on his face a la Mike Tyson.