After months of battling spinal stenosis and trying to get back to the game, David Wright had to announce that his days of playing baseball are over. The Mets' longtime third baseman and captain held a news conference Thursday afternoon to announce his unofficial retirement.
Wright explained that his body will no longer permit him to play baseball. He will be activated for the team's final 2018 homestand and start at third base Sept. 29, but after that game, he's done. It took months of trying to get back to the major leagues, making minor-league appearances during that process, but it was no use. Simulated games and pre-game batting-practice sessions only told him what he feared most, he couldn't keep going.
"I needed the baseball stuff and I needed the games for my body to finally tell me, 'It's not happening,'" Wright said. "It's not working. From everything the doctors have told me, there's not going to be any improvement."
David Wright is set to play with the Mets one last time and will most likely retire afterwards. Unbelievable career for David Wright 🙏❤️pic.twitter.com/4n3Vdn3wyO— Baseball King™ (@BasebaIlKing) September 13, 2018
Wright will play the one last game with the team and then not officially retire for some time. The Mets still owe him $27 million over the course of 2019 and 2020 and if he stays on the disabled list, the team can recoup most of that cost through insurance.
Wright's injury issues really took a toll after a game back in 2011 when an on-field dive to tag out Carlos Lee in a mid-April game against the Houston Astros. That play caused him to miss a number of games. Wright did admit that he's thought about what might have been if he hadn't tried to make that play, but at the end of the day, it's no use. Things are what they are and he admitted, "If I were to sit here and play the what-if game, it would drive me crazy," Wright said.
Fighting back tears with many of his teammates in attendance for the announcement, Wright said that he does not expect to play again after his scheduled start at third base against the Marlins.