Manuel: Wright should have sat
David Wright took one for Team USA and stayed in the game -- and that didn't sit well with his major league manager.
The New York Mets third baseman stayed in Wednesday's World Baseball Classic game against Venezuela, despite believing he'd broken his toe fouling off a pitch in the first inning. He realized he'd escaped with nothing more than a cracked toenail only after an X-ray of his left foot was taken after the game.
So the fact that Wright limped to the finish of a game that affected only seeding for the WBC's final rounds didn't please Mets manager Jerry Manuel.
"He probably shouldn't have played if he felt he had a broken toe," Manuel told reporters on Thursday. "No question about that."
Wright said if it had been a Grapefruit League game, he would have taken a seat. But he also said he plans to stay with Team USA "100 percent." And with injuries piling up and the U.S. bench growing short -- Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann was the only healthy replacement in the dugout Wednesday night -- Wright decided he wasn't coming out.
"We have to play hurt," Wright said, according to Newsday. "From a lot of this, what I see is stuff that's in the norm. That if you're in the middle of the season you can play through. Obviously, the team is going to take the precautionary measure to make sure you're ready to go the first week of April."
"I just wish it would have hit me somewhere other than the toe," he added. "If you get hit in the foot, it can be a lot less painful than breaking a toenail."
Mets general manager Omar Minaya, who was informed by Team USA officials Wednesday night that Wright's X-rays were negative, said he has no plans to call Wright back to spring training.
"David said it was nothing," Minaya said, according to Newsday. "He's having fun. He's great."