New York Mets Owner Hands Out Underdog T-Shirts
New York Mets third baseman David Wright doesn’t need a goofy cartoon character to inspire him for the 2012 season. Seeking to supply some inspiration for a team that is being picked by many to finish last in the NL East and that shed about $50 million in payroll from opening day in 2011, Mets owner Jeff Wilpon passed out orange T-shirts with a “U” symbol to each of his players Monday.
That “U” is the symbol of the 1960s cartoon character “Underdog” and Wright doesn’t think it the T-shirt send the right message.
“I don’t really like using the whole underdog thing. I don’t really like playing that card,” Wright told the New York Daily News. “I think it’s just a way to remind everybody in here that the outside expectations aren’t the expectations that we have for ourselves.
Added Wright: “But we in here kind of have to rally around that and get it going. I guess, at the end of the day, that is kind of an underdog theme, but we shouldn’t view ourselves as that. We’ll let everybody else view ourselves as that, because I think we kind of know what we’re capable of doing.”
The Mets were 77-85 last season, their third consecutive season of finishing below .500 and in fourth place in the NL East. During the offseason, they lost arguably their best player, shortstop Jose Reyes, to the division-rival Miami Marlins in free agency and did little spending of their own thanks to the franchise’s ongoing financial problems.