David Wright on managing Mets: “Never say never”

Former Mets All-Star David Wright opened up about his baseball future and shared a hilarious story about coaching his daughter's tee-ball team

Zach Gelb
September 29, 2020 - 10:30 am
David Wright New York Mets

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David Wright played 14 seasons in the big leagues, all for the New York Mets. He was a seven-time All-Star, a two-time Gold Glover and a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner. He was, quite simply, one of the best of his generation.

Now he coaches tee-ball – or is at least trying to.

“My coaching debut got interrupted by COVID,” Wright explained on The Zach Gelb Show. “We got one game in of 3- and 4- year-old co-ed tee ball, and we did get our team pictures to prove it.”

Earlier this year, there was chatter about Wright becoming the next Mets manager. Wright, however, explained that he was not interested in coaching – at least not in the majors.

“I want to really be there [for my kids],” he said. “I want to coach. I don’t know much about soccer or basketball or volleyball, but whatever they want to do, I want to be a part of it. I love staying involved with the Mets and with the game, but it has to be at arm’s length. I can’t do anything full-time right now. I owe it to my family to be here full-time.”

There are, of course, times when Wright misses the Mets – and MLB in general.

“Just when I start missing it, I get a chance to go to spring training and work with some of the younger infielders or work with some of the younger hitters, then I come back and be dad,” he said. “Then I start missing it, and I get a chance to go to New York and sit in front of some of the front-office meetings and talk about how to make the team better and the trade deadline and things like that and then I get the adrenaline pumping again, and then I come home and be dad. 

“So I get a chance to stay involved but kind of in a part-time role,” Wright continued. “That’s probably what I foresee five years down the road. I hope I can stay involved. I hope I’m invited to stay involved. That would be my goal.”

Zach Gelb, though, thinks Wright would be hard-pressed to turn down a managerial role with the Mets a few years down the line, mainly because of his love of the game, as well as the franchise.

“I would probably disagree because I don’t think I can give the position what it deserves to be given,” Wright said. “I don’t think that I could do it justice with what I want to do outside of baseball right now. It sounds selfish, and I guess it is, but it mainly has to do with my young family. It’d be an honor and a privilege to be considered in that light, but I’d probably say that I disagree in the fact that I don’t think coaching or managing – never say never – but I don’t foresee it in my future. But again, I guess never say never.”

For now, tee-ball will have to do. Before his first game, Wright told the opposing coach that he would follow his lead in terms of adhering to the rules and flow of a tee-ball game. The opposing coach explained that he played baseball in college and was “pretty good.” The coach then asked Wright if he had ever played baseball.

Yes, you read that sentence correctly.

“I said, ‘I dabbled a little bit, but I’m going to take your lead on this one,’” Wright said, laughing. “He says, ‘Okay,’ and we went out and played the tee-ball game, so I got a nice chuckle out of that.”

Don’t worry, Mets fans. This exchange did not take place in New York or New Jersey. It took place in Southern California, where Wright’s wife is from.

“I guess I thought I was better than I was,” Wright said, laughing. “Maybe I didn’t make my mark against the Dodgers out here as much as I thought I did. We got them twice [in the playoffs]. I guess that wasn’t enough.”

All kidding aside, Wright is really enjoying coaching and being a dad.

“It’s fun to just [have that] dad moment where you’re kind of just coaching the tee-ball team and they’re running the wrong way on the bases and they don’t know where the positions are and they get the biggest smile when they finally make contact off the tee for the first time,” he said. “It’s a pretty rewarding experience."