Mike Pelfrey goes into his windup and. Oh wait I just balked. That's right I interrupted my delivery to switch to another topic. Do the Mets lack a leader? Is David Wright mad that I'm asking this question? And does it matter?
Last night's ESPN Sunday Night Baseball gave this Mets fan the chance to hear Jon Miller, Joe Morgan and Steve Phillips go off for at least an hour on the subject of Why the Mets Have No Leader, padding their broadcast of an offensively challenged 2-0 Giants victory.
To distill and paraphrase their collective arguments, Wright isn't the leader because he's too happy, Beltran isn't the leader because he's too passive, Reyes isn't the leader because he's just a big baby, Delgado isn't the leader because he sucked when he first got here and now he's injured, and Johan Santana would be the leader but he can't be because he only plays every fifth day. And finally, Wright is the only one with a chance to be the leader, and all this talk of him NOT being the leader is gradually making him the leader.
While I find this talk tiresome, I do have to agree that there isn't a rah-rah, in-your-face leader on the Mets that I can see. I'm just not sure having an official ESPN approved Leader really matters. Winning matters; so does avoiding the late season disappointment that has plagued the Mets the last three seasons.
While Steve Phillips can sit there in the booth and wax poetic about how the Mets lack of a leader has cost them post season success, I think he has got it backwards. I think the Mets failures have stunted the leadership potential of all their candidates for the spot. And once the games are meaningful later this season, the Mets will be successful if they get the timely leadership they need from the right people at the right times.
Even if they don't have a trash talking Jimmy Rollins to stir the pot, the Mets can get it done with their multi headed monster of immature and smiley pseudo-leaders.
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Written by Mark Reichman