Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Wright Eager to Play in Meaningless Finish

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Wright Eager to Play in Meaningless Finish

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- When the Mets convene for spring training next season, it will be 10 years since principal owner Fred Wilpon set the goal for the franchise: "Meaningful games in September." But it's hard to determine any meaning for the Mets in the final weeks of this season.

The season is long over, the official elimination from the playoffs came last week, and a listless 3-0 loss in the opener of Saturday's doubleheader against the Miami Marlins just another cap on an arduous struggle in a year plagued by injuries and low expectations. Home runs by Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda sent the fans home happy after a 3-1 win in the nightcap.

Even with nothing left to play for, the Mets are sticking with their plan to play David Wright down the stretch.

Wright was on the field early Saturday before a doubleheader that served as a textbook definition for meaningless games. He continues to work his way back from a hamstring strain by running the bases, working out at third base, and taking swings against bullpen coach Ricky Bones.

Manager Terry Collins said that rehabilitation could never simulate the adrenalin-fueled speed of game action. But he insisted that just as Wright wants to return, he won't stand in the way.

"Why not?" Collins said. "He's not going to hurt the hamstring again. He's healthy."

That remains to be seen, with even Wright admitting that he can't really know until he gets in a game. But Wright wants in and Collins said if the doctors clear him, he will be on the field -- perhaps as soon as Tuesday's game against the San Francisco Giants.

"Hey, look, we're trying to win baseball games, you know," Collins said. "And our fans deserve that. And part of our thing is if David says he's ready to play, nobody knows how he feels but David. All the testing and all the other stuff we do is just an indication that he's back being healthy right now. …

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