For 13 years, David Wright left it all on the field for the New York Mets. But the time has come for him to hang up his cleats—and retire.
David Wright gave it his best shot. He’s worked tirelessly to return from multiple injuries, never complaining, never wallowing in self-despair. He’s done everything he could to get back on the field for the New York Mets.
But according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, his body continues to betray him.
David Wright announced though team he continues to have shoulder pain in games. He will be examined by a doctor before any further comment.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 28, 2017
Wright, who had neck surgery in 2016, was shut down in spring training—and ultimately placed on the disabled list—with a right shoulder impingement. It was an ominous sign back then, as Dr. Armin Tehrany told Evan Grossman of the New York Daily News.
“The setback is serious enough to warrant close monitoring and treatment. It will impact his future if it does not completely resolve over time. The shoulder and neck musculature are closely connected. Therefore, the neck surgery and resultant immobilization and rehab has affected the biomechanics of the shoulder.”
Clearly, things have not completely resolved. And there’s no reason to believe that they ever will. That realization seems to be setting in for Wright.
Mets medical updates; shoulder pain shut down David Wright's rehab: pic.twitter.com/YUb20MbPEg
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) August 28, 2017
“After playing in a few games, I continued to have shoulder pain,” Wright said in a statement, per Newsday‘s Marc Carig. “So I decided to go to the doctor and get it checked out. [I] will make any decisions going forward after my appointment.”
No matter what his doctor may say, there’s only one sensible thing for Wright to do—call it quits. Wright has nothing—nothing—left to prove as a player.
His legacy has already been etched in stone. He will go down as one of the greatest Mets of all-time. No. 5 will one day be retired at Citi Field, never to be worn by another Met—and rightfully so.
The debate will rage whether he’s worthy of enshrinement in Cooperstown’s hallowed halls. My guy tells me that he’ll fall short, but that’s another discussion for another day.
No, this isn’t the ending anyone hoped for. We all had visions of Wright making his triumphant return to Citi Field to a standing ovation, delivering yet another game-winning hit as he’s done countless times over his storied career.
Chances are, Wright had those same visions. But as the Rolling Stones reminded us years ago, “you can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.”
And what Wright needs is to put his long-term health ahead of his career. He and his wife, Molly, welcomed their first child—a daughter named Olivia Shea Wright—into the world last year.
His shoulder is likely to give him issues for the rest of his life. There’s no reason for him to continue pushing the limits of his body, potentially limiting his ability to hold his daughter, or to play with her, or to do anything else he may have his heart set on.
He owes us nothing. But we thank him for everything.