By FOX Sports Radio 1230's Blogger Staff
If only last night's game happened last week.
If only that game took place in front of 42,000 fans last week at Citi Field instead of the Mets being out west in Los Angeles, we could be talking about David Wright starting instead of Pablo Sandoval at 3B in Kansas City on Tuesday.
Thursday night's clutch base hit with 2 outs in the 9th inning was a big reason why David Wright has become one of the talks of New York. And he deserves it, with his power to get not only the hit when you need one desperately, but also an inning-ending bare-handed grab to throw a baserunner out at 1st.
So why didn't Wright win the "wright" to start at 3B? Before we talk about the reasoning, let's talk about Pablo Sandoval.
Now, don't get me wrong, Pablo Sandoval has become a solid player for the San Francisco Giants, and I'm sure we're going to hear his name more when the Mets visit the Giants at the end of this month. In the first series between these two teams, he drove in 4 runs in the 4 game series at Citi Field. But his .315 batting average and 28 RBIs in 48 games pale in comparison to Wright's .354 average and 59 RBIs in 79 games. And that includes having to deal with a fractured finger that could have rendered Wright unplayable.
So how did this happen?
Well, let's start by talking about where the two teams were heading into the final week of voting. Wright and the Mets were heading west, with stops in Chicago and Los Angeles. Then there's San Francisco, home and hosting inter-divisional rival Los Angeles before hosting Cincinnati. Being home is easier to rile up the troops and get them to vote. Playing against rivals who can pack a stadium doesn't hurt, either.
Couple that with a couple dismal performances by the Mets as a team against the league's worst versus a San Francisco team that went on to not only sweep Los Angeles, they shut them out completely. Sandoval's 3-for-3 with 3RBI's in the opening game of the series helped.
But the biggest blame could simply be: New York sports fans thought they had already won. At the last tally before votes were to close, Wright had a decent lead, so there was no reason to believe that he would lose out. So perhaps some otherwise voters laid off the button and San Francisco voters, knowing that they needed a big effort to get Sandoval in, went en masse.
They succeeded. New York fans instead lost. It's not like Wright won't get to play in the All-Star Game in Kansas City, but with the tremendous play he has offered the Mets all season, helping to propel the Mets to many wins, he deserved to be a starter. Great play needs to be rewarded, and this time, the fans who vote failed to reward Wright.
And maybe next year New York Mets fans will take this lesson into account when voting for who will start at Citi Field. If not, we may have to relive more sports blogs such as this.