Much has been made of Noah Syndergaard’s refusal to play for the U.S. team in the ongoing World Baseball Classic. His “ain’t nobody make it to the Hall of Fame or win a World Series by playing in the WBC” comment is destined to be just as classic. But David Wright cannot disagree more and is not hiding his feelings.
Wright, of course, earned his “Captain America” nickname with his star turn at the 2013 competition, the second time he had donned the USA jersey. It is very likely he would have played for a third time if he were physically able.
“Everybody has their right to their own opinion, and obviously Noah doesn’t think too highly of it,” Wright told MLB.com. “But I do. So I’m not sure if it’s just a different mentality, and I’m not sure if there’s a right or a wrong. But getting a chance to represent your country, and put that jersey on, and hear the chants of ‘U-S-A, U-S-A’ — that’s one of the highlights of my career.
“Up to this point if you say, ‘Hey, what’s the most fun you’ve had on a baseball field?’ I’d say the World Series. But I would say in the conversation of cool things that I’ve gotten to do on a baseball field, the World Baseball Classic is toward the top of that list for sure.”
Wright has every right to say whatever he wants, but as the Mets captain, I wish he had not mentioned Syndergaard by name. It is never good to criticize another teammate, and it is especially worse when the player doing the talking is also the leader of the team.
This is not the first time David Wright has taken Syndergaard to task. During Spring Training in 2015, Wright tutored Syndergaard about not being on the bench during an intrasquad scrimmage; instead, Syndergaard was in the clubhouse eating lunch.
In this current situation, maybe Wright was responding to a direct question about Syndergaard, but I wish he had just spoken in general about players who did not want to play. In any case, I doubt this will cause a stir in the Mets clubhouse. Wright did not bash Syndergaard and he was likely speaking the truth — Syndergaard probably does not think very highly of the WBC.