John Franco Calls Out Mets David Wright

Flickr photo courtesy of alpineinc

Flickr photo courtesy of alpineinc

Former Mets closer Johnny Franco called out David Wright and the Mets for lacking leadership from the players. Franco said he’s spoken to Wright about taking a more active role as a leader on the team but it hasn’t worked.

The interview was on Sirius XM Radio and covered the current state of the Mets as well as other topics. But Franco’s comments about the lack of leadership on the team, and Wright specifically are garnering national media attention.

From ESPN:

“I tried talking to him and tell him to come forward and be that guy, but I think David feels that being that he’s such a young player and you have the [Carlos] Delgados and [Gary] Sheffields and veteran guys like that, he’s afraid that they’ll look at him like, ‘Be quiet and sit down.’”

Wright told reporters that he’s unconcerned about what anyone outside of the Mets organization says.

“With all due respect to Johnny, he doesn’t know what’s going on in this clubhouse,” Wright said Wednesday, after the Mets beat the Milwaukee Brewers 1-0 to stop a five-game losing streak. “I don’t feel the need to have to defend myself as a leader. If these guys in here respect me and think of me as a leader, that’s what I need.”

“I don’t worry myself about outside people saying what they’re going to say,” Wright said. “It doesn’t matter. What matters to me are these 24 guys in here and the coaching staff. Whatever anybody else wants to say, they can say whatever.”

This isn’t a new line of discussion. Every one of us that listens to sports talk radio in New York has heard this before. I’m a little surprised that Franco would come out publicly with this line of discussion after doing some work for the Mets this spring. I guess he doesn’t plan on doing any further work for them in the future.

My take on this is that if I was a 35 or 40 year old player on the Mets, I wouldn’t necessarily look at Wright as a leader on the team either. Sheffield has 500 home runs and Delgado is knocking on the door. Even Livan Hernandez was a World Series MVP. Beltran is a 4-time All Star, Rookie of the Year, with three Gold Gloves, and two Silver Sluggers. This just isn’t a team that every player is going to look up to Wright at this point in his career.

On a team with a different makeup, I could see Wright being a leader. On a younger team like the Pirates or Rays, I’m sure he would be a leader. But the Mets are a team with some veterans that have serious resumes. Franco should recognize that fact too because he was a veteran with a serious resume at one point himself.

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About Dave Doyle

Although I don’t have a degree in journalism, I love writing about the New York Mets. I’m the typical writer without access. My only accessibility to the Mets is sitting in the stands (often the upper tank) and watching on TV like most fans. I’m not a member of the media, just a fan expressing opinions.

10 thoughts on “John Franco Calls Out Mets David Wright

  1. TD

    Johnny Franco needs to go back to growing tomatoes in the bullpen. I’m still angry that the Met’s traded Randall K Myers to the Red’s for Franco.

  2. MetStatHead

    Dave I have to disagree with you on some of this… I think the issues go deeper then Wright not feeling comfortable because he is young… I think he feels outnumbered in the clubhouse by the hispanic players… I know omar has some serious connections in PR and the Dominican, but his most marketable player is being choked out by those players…

    The clicks are obvious, and its been like this for years… I think its getting better, but it all takes time…

    Beltran and Delgado are quiet leaders, they lead by example… Church and Sheff talk too much to be taken seriously… who else can we lean on?

    1. Dave Doyle Post author

      I think it’s hard to tell how much of a factor the cliques are in the clubhouse. There’s been a lot of talk about that over the last few years, so there’s probably something to it. But I think leadership is something organic that either happens or doesn’t because of circumstance and personalities. My take is that more established players just aren’t going to look to a 26 year old for leadership. In 10 years, I’m sure Wright will be considered a leader for whatever team he’s playing for but he just doesn’t have the years of experience for veteran players to look to him for leadership.

  3. RobinTheBoyWonderingWTF

    Dave, I am going to add what I said on FB ..John Franco is gasbag! When he played he would have hated it if an ex player said what he said about David. David’s reaction was perfect. Franco has no more insight to who is a leader on the Mets than we do as fans. in fact many of us probably observe/watch more Mets games than he does. I heard that he called up and apologized to Wright. Big deal! If Franco wanted to say something useful he would have simply stated that this is a battered team . The last time I looked George Washington wasnt around to lead anyone, and this group needs people like him to overcome the situation they are in. I agree with TD , Franco should go back to a tomato patch and i’ll add this , fertilize that instead of running his mouth. The latino situation again is one that we have no way of knowing. So I will respectfully decline to comment on that, other then to say, its as possible as any other theories. but to me the fact is the Mets are battered, overwhelmed and outclassed as they are right now. Unlike my usual doomsday mentality I for one want to say that today was the half way point of the season.ONLY the half way point. When its time to bury the Mets for good, i’ll be aware of it as anyone. I am hugely disappointed in this team, but I have not lost all hope yet.

  4. MetStatHead

    Robin I agree with you. This is a battered team, but it is also a team that came into the year with some serious questions…

    There is no doubt that this team is over-performing and we are very fortunate that the Phillies cant seem to run away from the pack…

    The only issue I have with the leadership on the Mets is that they need someone to step up in the clutch… Wright is the logical choice, but if he continues to strike out and ground out in big spots like he did TWICE yesterday, then no one will look toward him…

    This team is hurting, this team is truely missing Beltran, Reyes, Delgado, Perez, and Maine…

    Off this topic a bit, what is management doing about the lack of major league talent in the minor league system? This team needs to reload the farm system, now!

    1. Dave Doyle Post author

      The Mets farm system is consistently rated in the bottom half of the league for talent. From what I’ve read, it’s generally considered a problem that the Mets refuse to exceed MLB’s bonus slots. So they won’t draft anyone that they believe will want a higher signing bonus than what MLB recommends for that pick in the draft. That’s why they’re more aggressive with international free agents. There’s no limit on the money they can pay to those kids to sign them. That being said, they do still need to do a better job of building talent in the minors.

    2. TD

      I totally agree about Wright. Players can certainly lead by example on the field by hitting in the clutch, being able to throw the ball to first base, etc. Wright hasn’t hit or fielded his position over the past couple of weekends. His BA has dropped close to 30 points since Beltran went down. I get the fact that you need protection in the lineup. However, I doubt that Beltran would slump this bad.

      I don’t know if he’s putting everything on himself or what. Teammates are getting on base. It seems like either Wright or Tatis are up in a big spot, and neither contribute.

      On a positive note, things could be worse… As I type this, the Reds are losing to the Phil’s 22-1! The Phil’s scored 13 runs against the Met’s this weekend.

  5. RobinTheBoyWonderingWTF

    hii Stathead, I will edit down a comment or two I made to Dave a few days back RE: International players and the Mets..
    The Mets should have Livan Hernandez help them recruit Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, The Coupons need to spend some $$ to get this done. I am tired of losing out to Boston, Seattle and the Yankees on the best international players. I am not impressed that they keep signing 16 year olds hoping to catch lightning in a bottle 5 or 6 years later. it took Contreras about 2 months for Yankees to sign him. I know Chapman will equally be sought after. Let the Mets lead the pursuit. They have a healthy history with Cuban players.Ordonez, El Duque. and little brother Livan. They should emphasize that point and use the $$$ they charge for $700 seats to watch 500 baseball to seal the deal, getting outbid is not an excuse for the prices they charge for tickets.

    1. MetStatHead

      Robin, I couldnt agree with you more on the Chapman thing… It seems that the Mets have been trying to patch the holes in the lineup with aging vets or unproven youngsters… I want Omar to make a splash ASAP!! Lets go get Chapman and lets deal for an outfielder to shore up this lineup…

      The sooner we get Murphy back into the minors to learn how to play defense the better!

      The next few weeks might make or break the season and might make or break Omar’s future with the Mets…

      Lets get something done! I feel like we need a petition or something!

  6. RobinTheBoyWonderingWTF

    Hi Stathead, Thanks for the backing, but since we are all Mets fans on here I know we are A. Smart and B. We care about the team. lol
    I doubt that Freddy and The Dreamers care if we begin a petition on any topic, I assure you there were petitions about the ripoff price tickets, as well as the Dodger rotunda at Citi Field, but I digress.
    With all of the injuries suffered by the Mets. I believe Omar will get a pass THIS season, his training staff.?.not so much . I saw NBCSPORTS.COM listed John Franco as last weeks whiner of the week.lol all they had to do was come and read what we were saying here. If you do get that petition going, count me in

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