David Wright may have never won a World Series with the Mets, but he did win an NL pennant and had some successful seasons, so he knows what it takes to win in the majors and that it is sometimes more than just talent on the field.
That's how Wright felt about the 2015 Mets and he sees some of that in this year's team.
The former Mets captain, in Port St. Lucie as special advisor to GM Brodie Van Wagenen, listened to a team meeting on Monday and spoke with some players afterward about what it takes to win in the big leagues.
Wright, along with fellow special assistants Al Leiter and John Franco, all seemed to agree on a common theme.
"It seemed like the years we put it all together, it seemed like it was more … [Leiter and Franco] probably weren't (on) the most talented team, as we weren't the most talented team in 2015," he said. "But what we had was everybody pulling that rope in the same direction. Guys got to know each other on a personal level so I think it was more important for guys to go out there and play well for one another because you knew about a guys' girlfriend or kid, knew him on a personal level and wanted to go above and beyond … just try extra hard go out there and win for one another.
"I think that's something it seems like over there with [Robinson Cano], Jacob [deGrom] coming off a Cy Young, [Jeurys] Familia back, everybody's there eating lunch, talking baseball. I know it's early, but that's the kind of things special teams are made of. Not just on the field. Everybody going out to dinner together and everybody having that kind of camaraderie."
That type of wisdom from Wright is part of the reason why Van Wagenen has kept the former third baseman heavily involved within the organization.
The role as an advisor is still an adjustment for Wright, though, who joked he did not know what to wear to the ballpark.
"That was the toughest decision I had to make today," he said. "Usually I just change into a baseball uniform."
Wright has been involved on the business side of the game since December when he joined Van Wagenen and the Mets' brass in Las Vegas for the winter meetings.
While his new position is considered part-time, he said he talks with Van Wagenen frequently and is impressed with the GM's passion for the game.
"Brodie has gone above and beyond to keep me involved," Wright said. "I was in his office for an hour just talking baseball ... Some days I'm like, 'Hey Brodie, I gotta take my daughter to pre-school.' I think he just loves talking the game, with me being fresh off the field, pick my brain a little bit. I got invited to the winter meetings, now it's a little bit of roster construction, the younger players he really likes … it's a little bit of everything. I get a text, phone call every now and then. I got my hands on some reports, looking over some things ... Really cool to be a part of."
Wright said he is doing better physically, but certainly does not miss the toll it has taken on his body.
"I don't have to worry about the twisting and the turning that would crush my back," he said. "I was joking around, I got a stiff neck on the plane, there is no way I can still play. I can't even make a plane ride without getting hurt."
Despite that, Wright admitted he still misses being on the field.
"I miss playing in a game," he said. "I don't miss the physical aspect of it. … I miss talking the game. I miss performing. I miss the big at-bat with runners in scoring position."