Marty Noble, of www.mlb.com, writes about Tuesday's day off, for David Wright, showing immediate dividends.
The thinking behind the law of diminishing return never was lost on David Wright. But when it was applied to him, he saw it as compromise. And Wright prefers to see himself as steadfast, unyielding and ever ready. He preferred to believe the law didn't apply to him, his 25-year-old body, his determination and his abiding affection for the game. Let the next guy take a seat.
So consider it a lesson learned. Wright didn't resist when his new manager said "be seated" late Monday night. Nor did he participate in the 11-0 loss the Mets endured the following night. And when he returned to duty Wednesday, he was, by his own account, renewed. Less can be more, even for him.
Wright came back swinging in what became the Mets' 8-2 victory against the Mariners. His first swing of the night produced a solo home run, his second a foul ball, and his third sent another fly ball beyond the playing confines of Shea Stadium. Wright looked like a slugger, Dr. Jerry Manuel looked like a genius.
(Hopefully, this is a lesson learned for all the Mets’ players that a day off can rejuvenate, and spark immediate results. Randolph, knowing he was fighting to retain his job, had played his starters too often, desperately hoping to win as many games as possible, as quickly as possible. Manuel is thinking long-term. We’ll see if he’s given the opportunity to manage the Mets long-term.)
"[I] can't argue with the results," Wright said. "It worked. I did feel more refreshed, crisper. I noticed the difference. The bat felt lighter."
Wright hadn't hit a home run since June 10. His batting average for June -- 86 at-bats -- was .256.
"He's still a good player who can play tired," Manuel said.
But the manager had detected "mental fatigue that manifests itself in the physical."
Wright had started every game and played every inning but nine at third base -- he served as designated hitter last week -- until Wednesday. Then he produced the 11th multi-home run game of his career, his second this season.
"Just trying to make Jerry look good," he said.
And now with that evidence supporting their new manager's logic, the entire Mets team is about to take a day off, though Manuel had nothing to do with it.
"It does come at a good time for us," Manuel said. "Because we're going to have to push it the next 12 to 14 days."
The next time the schedule will allow the Mets a chance to kick back is July 14, the first day of the All-Star break. By then, they will have played four games against the Yankees and seven against the two teams in the best positions to deny them a place in the postseason -- the Phillies, leaders in the National League East, and the Cardinals, the team with the best Wild Card standing.
Those seven games will have more impact than the Interleague losses to the Mariners on Monday and Tuesday, and the comfortable Interleague victory the Mets produced Wednesday, their fourth victory in Manuel's eight games and their seventh in 11 games against the other league.
(By July 14th, hopefully Omar and the Wilpons have a better idea as to whether they should be buyers or sellers at the deadline. Currently, under .500, and struggling, they should be sellers, acquire prospects, reload for 2009, and give some major league opportunities to some minor leaguers, if some of the major league talent is traded for prospects.)