07/12/10 6:59 PM ET
Wright, Reyes loving All-Star camaraderie
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
With the season half complete, David Wright and Jose Reyes -- the Mets' two representatives on the NL All-Star team -- lead the club in nearly every major offensive category.
That meant the two needed no introduction to each other or the All-Star experience, but Wright said it still would have been nice to have had a little more company accompanying them from Flushing.
"I was hoping that we'd have more teammates, but throughout the first half, we didn't really have many guys that had those great individual performances," Wright said. "It seems like we found a way to win games, but then you look at the stat sheet, and you didn't really have a guy or two guys that jumped out at you. Still, we were finding ways to win and survive."
Wright and Reyes are among only four Mets on the active roster from the 2006 team that took the NL Championship Series to its seven-game limit, along with Pedro Feliciano and the soon-to-be-activated Carlos Beltran, who Wright believes can help fuel a second-half surge.
"He's one of those five-tool players that really is one of the difference-makers," Wright said. "He can put a team on his shoulders and carry it for an extended period of time, whether it's offensively or defensively. It's going to be a big boost for us."
Though Reyes won't participate in the All-Star Game because of his sore right oblique, he has enjoyed a remarkable run over the first half of the season.
Batting .210 with no home runs as late as May 19, Reyes -- who missed the final four months of the 2009 season recovering from a torn right hamstring -- rebounded to enter the break with a .275 average, six home runs and 19 steals.
He is tied for the team lead in triples, steals and runs scored, but he won't be permitted to do much in Anaheim beyond receiving treatment and taking some indoor batting practice on Wednesday.
"It is tough," Reyes said. "I'm disappointed, but I have to understand that I'm not able to play because I have some injuries. Of course I want to play, but I can't play right now. The most important thing is to get better and try to help my team in the second half."
Reyes has been to the All-Star Game twice before, though injuries kept him from playing in 2006. The following year, in San Francisco, Reyes started at shortstop and led off for the NL, finishing 3-for-4 with a double and a stolen base.
"I feel good. I'm at the All-Star Game, and I have to feel happy," he said. "I'm around a lot of my friends -- [the Marlins'] Hanley Ramirez is here, David is here. I'm happy now. I enjoy everything that I do here. This is great."
Wright leads the Mets with a .314 average, 14 home runs and 65 RBIs, and he is tied with Reyes for the team lead in runs scored, with 52. One year after enduring the worst season of his professional career, Wright is suddenly in the middle of one of his best.
"He's among the league leaders in average, RBIs, he's playing very well at third base -- extremely well at third base," manager Jerry Manuel said recently. "You'd almost have to talk about him as MVP of the first half for the league."
Participating in the All-Star Game is a dream come true for Wright, who remembers watching Alex Rodriguez pushing Cal Ripken Jr. over to shortstop in the 2001 Midsummer Classic and considers it one of his favorite memories from the contest growing up.
"I definitely watched it as a kid, but I never thought I'd actually get to participate in one," he said. "I'd always watch the Home Run Derby and the game, and think, 'What if?' I'd dream about myself in that scenario. Now, getting the opportunity, it's surreal.
"I don't think you get a chance to enjoy it as much as you should until it's over with, and then you can look back and say, 'Wow, that was pretty special.' "
Wright has also enjoyed plenty of success in his four All-Star Games. He crushed a homer in his first All-Star at-bat, in 2006, and has gone 4-for-11 overall. This will mark his fifth consecutive All-Star appearance and his fourth start in five years.
"Obviously, the game is fun, but just as [much] fun is hanging around the clubhouse -- eating lunch, talking baseball with Albert Pujols or, one time, Barry Bonds," Wright said. "Getting a chance to be around the game's best is almost just as fun as being out there on the field. It really is special."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. MLB.com reporter Anthony DiComo contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.