I appreciate all the responses I received when I asked for your help naming my MLBlog. I probably got 50 or 60 different suggestions out of your hundreds of comments. Some of them were really clever, a few of them made me laugh and a couple had me shaking my head and wondering … but I?ve finally picked one that I consider the best fit — Wright Now.
"Wright Now" conveys the immediacy of baseball. You don?t look ahead, you don?t look behind, you just try to stay in the moment and take it one game at a time. So with the help of people like Shawn, who was the first of you to throw that suggestion out there, the name of my blog will help remind me of the mindset I need to take to the field every day.
Right now, for example, we?re putting this past weekend?s series with the Yankees behind us and focusing on giving our best effort in our series with the Phillies. The Yankees series got a lot of attention and required a lot of energy. But the Phillies are in our division and playing very well recently, so we need to give our full attention to trying to beat them.
Our rotation has been banged up recently and we?re working through a stretch where we?ve had to make some adjustments, so it?s our job to make sure whoever we bring in to start is comfortable and prepared to give his best effort, whether it?s on a one-game basis or more permanent. The veterans on the staff have been doing a good job with that.
The uncertainty at the back end of the rotation doesn?t really put any more pressure on the offense, at least from my standpoint. No matter who?s pitching, we go out there pretty confident that we?re going to score runs. So far, we?re doing a pretty good job of working through the injuries and finding ways to persevere.
Our ability to weather injuries over the course of the season demonstrates the versatility and depth of talent on our club. General manager Omar Minaya and his staff have done such a great job of putting the pieces in place that no one is concerned.
We had two of our starters go down, but there was never any sense of panic or anything. We know we have the talent in the organization to fill whatever gaps may arise and we feel confident in whoever pitches on a given night, whether it?s a veteran from Triple-A or one of our younger pitching prospects.
As I?ve mentioned before, we have the luxury of knowing that we don?t have to necessarily be clicking on all cylinders to win. We have a good offense, good starting pitching and a good bullpen. If we falter in one area, the rest of the team will be there to pick us up.
One day, we?ll beat you with our offense, the next day it might be the speed game or the bullpen that comes through.
Ready for the next 1,000 at-bats
I didn?t even notice until someone told me that I just got my 1,000th at-bat for the Mets during the final game of the Yankees series. It?s happened pretty quickly.
Overall, I guess I?m pretty satisfied with that first 1,000. But the way the game works, you?re never totally satisfied with any aspect of your game. So although I?m satisfied in some respects, I also know that there?s plenty of room for improvement in my next 1,000 at-bats.
Hopefully, I?ll be more consistent with that next 1,000. I believe I have a good chance of accomplishing that because I?m in good position to improve with all of the quality veteran players surrounding me and our great coaching staff. I?m still learning every day.
At-bats are precious things in baseball. You try never to even think of wasting at-bats. But, realistically, when you look back, there are times when you don?t feel right or you feel like something?s wrong with your swing. But you try to learn from those experiences and prevent those things from repeating themselves.
You try to have a good plan every time you step to the plate and make the necessary adjustments with each succeeding at-bat. You?re naturally going to have better at-bats with experience because you?re constantly growing and learning in this game.
Prepping for the David Wright Foundation Golf Classic
Off the field, I?ve been busy getting ready for my first charity golf tournament, which will take place on June 1 — less than 10 days away now. It?s called the David Wright Foundation Golf Classic and it will be held at the Leewood Golf Club in Eastchester, N.Y.
It should be fun. Some of the guys here and front office folks will come out to support the event and we?ll have a few other celebrities on hand to liven things up. We?ll have a live auction and a dinner in addition to hacking up the golf course, so I?m looking forward to the opportunity to have some fun and help raise funds for some worthwhile organizations.
If you want to find out some more about the golf tournament or my foundation, all of that information can be found at my Website — davidwrightfoundation.com. We?re always looking for some new sponsors!
Until next time …
Until last night, I?d been in a little rut. But it didn?t really matter that much because we were still winning as a team. We have enough talent on this club that when one of us is scuffling, the rest of the lineup finds a way to pick him up and win anyway. As long as we get Ws, individual performances don?t matter that much. We have the luxury in our lineup of being able to win, even during those times when we?re not running on all cylinders.
When one of us gets hot -? Carlos Delgado, Cliff Floyd, Carlos Beltran ?- we can carry the team a little bit and maybe single-handedly win ballgames. When we are running on all cylinders, we can be a dangerously potent offense.
Plus, we have enough depth that we don?t miss a beat when we give someone a rest. Like last night, Julio Franco stepped into the lineup and we were able to give Carlos Delgado a breather. Being able to move people in and out of the lineup like that keeps the starters and the bench players fresh. We?re in a position to do that because we have one of the best benches in the National League.
So if I?m not hitting for a week or so, or Cliff?s not hitting, or Carlos isn?t hitting, we have the luxury of working out of it without taking the team down with us. That takes some of the pressure off whoever is in a slump at any given time.
I really haven?t been that concerned, even though I?ve been scuffling for a couple weeks. I learned a lot about how to deal with failure back in 2003 when I was playing high-A ball in the Florida State League. I scuffled the whole first half. Going through that period, I realized that the mental challenges of being a slump are usually bigger than the physical aspects.
I?ve been playing the game for some time, so I have the muscle memory and I?m confident I have the physical ability to hit. The key is not to let the slump eat you up mentally. Sometimes you overthink the situation and get in your own head too much. If you take it home with you and think about it too much and criticize yourself, you?re in danger of prolonging the slump.
So I?ve learned to trust in my ability and keep my confidence level up. As much as I?d love to go out there and hit .500, realistically it?s probably not going to happen. Learning to deal with failure is one of the keys to succeeding in baseball because, like they say, if you fail 70 percent of the time, you?re still a .300 hitter.
I?m also fortunate to have so many veterans surrounding me. These guys have all been through slumps before and know how to react. Sometimes, as a young player, getting a hit or not getting a hit can seem like a life-and-death situation. But if you watch and listen to the veterans around you it can help you put things in better perspective.
I definitely consider myself a young player still. We?ve got guys in this clubhouse who have been doing it for 10 or 12 years and I almost have two years under my belt, so I have plenty to learn from them. I feel like I?m still going to school every day.
You may have noticed some new looks …
A few people have asked about the new helmets we?re wearing this season. I like them. I consider myself an old-school type of player, but I?ll try new things. The helmets are a little flashy and futuristic with the two-tone look. But they?re also light, so I?ve convinced myself that they allow me run faster and jump higher. If I seem a little more athletic this season it?s because of the helmets.
It?s still a little cool in New York at this time of year, but hopefully they?ll also keep me from overheating during the summer months coming up. I?ll keep you posted.
I?ve also gotten some questions asking why I?m wearing my pant legs down again. It?s simple: the last time I wore my pants up, we got beat, I made three errors and didn?t get any hits. So I?ve decided to retire that look, at least for the time being.
The veterans on the team give me a hard time about it when I wear the pants up, anyway. Of course, they?ll give me a hard time about just about anything.
I guess the general feeling is that the pants-up look is a high school or college type of style. Not that there?s anything wrong with that, but there?s a high value on looking and acting like a professional in this clubhouse.
Narrowing down the list of names …
I?ve been studying the names that everyone?s been sending in for my blog. I didn?t realize there would be so many of them to consider. But I?m really impressed with the level of creativity and I?m beginning to narrow them down. I have a few favorites, so maybe by the next time I post a blog, I?ll have made a decision. I need a little while longer.
Until next time …