No Rest For Wright -- But Who Needs It?

NEW YORK -- The beginning of the David Wright era at Shea Stadium wasn't much to write home about – an 0-for-4 showing at the plate, coupled with several solid defensive plays – but that didn't stop Wright from spending a warm summer evening re-living the night's events in his head. <P> "It kept me up, just replaying the game in my mind," Wright said Thursday. "Every pitch. Every at-bat, every defensive play."

Less than 10 hours after ducking out of Shea for the first time as a Major League player, Wright was back in Queens to play his second big league game in the span of a day, penciled in again at third base behind Tom Glavine as New York searched for a sweep of an abbreviated two-game series with the Montreal Expos.

"That's the way you want to break in," Wright laughed. "Two games in one day."

Yes, Wright is a gamer, but it's hard to believe that two nights ago he was still doing so wearing the uniform of the Triple-A Norfolk Tides.

Literally overnight, Wright has become New York's newest baseball sensation, just as every baseball pundit had predicted. Not only talented but handsome and good-spirited, you almost have to wonder when they'll start cranking out mass-produced posters of the 21-year-old budding star, destined to hang on the bedroom walls of adoring teenage girls in the tri-state area.

Even though the Mets eked out a thrilling 5-4 victory Wednesday night at Shea, the story was Wright all around, as he stole the tabloid's back pages – even relegating Derek Jeter's fractured finger to the inside pages.

One wonders if Wright – who thus far seems to perfectly exemplify exactly what Norfolk manager John Stearns was saying when he commented that Wright was "the kind of kid you'd like your son to be, and your daughter to marry" – has any idea of the pressure or hype being placed on him.

If he does, he's not showing it, walking through his first paces as a Major League player with a calm and mature attitude that goes far beyond his youthful nature.

He is truly the new kid on the block, so much so that when clubhouse attendant Vinny Greco asked him to hand over his driver's license for recording purposes Thursday morning, you almost had to wonder if Wright had even applied for one.

"I do need to get myself a passport though," Wright said. "Can you believe that?"

Believe this – with the Mets heading to Montreal next week, there's no doubt in anyone's mind that Wright will be on that plane.

Mets Notes

  • Even though Mike Stanton blew a 4-1 lead Wednesday night, just one more black mark on the Mets' underachieving bullpen, Mets manager Art Howe expressed confidence that things would soon straighten themselves out.

    "I'm not really all that concerned," Howe said. "I think things are going to iron out here shortly. During a long season like this, you're going to go through some stretches where things aren't going to go smoothly."

    While he naturally would not give away any secrets, Howe seemed to suggest that the Mets could be acquiring another reliever in the next few days – especially after GM Jim Duquette apparently had a trade on the table that fell through yesterday.

    After optioning Dan Wheeler to Triple-A Norfolk Wednesday, the Mets are operating with six relievers. Howe said that he'd ideally like that number to be raised to seven, but said that the pitcher didn't necessarily need to be left-handed.

  • Howe said he had no problem with Ty Wigginton, who popped off a little when Wright was promoted from Triple-A Norfolk and expressed disappointment in his new varied role, which includes playing third base, second base, first base and some left field.

    "He just wants to play. I understand that," Howe said. "He's contributed greatly to the club, but we have to look at what's best for the team. Sometimes a guy needs to have two or three positions."

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