NEW YORK (AP) - David Wright says he and Fred Wilpon have exchanged phone messages since the New York Mets owner made critical comments about the All-Star third baseman.
Wright says Wilpon left him a message saying he “misspoke” and would never want to do anything to embarrass the organization. Wright says he appreciated that and he returned the call, also leaving a message.
A five-time All-Star and the face of the franchise, Wright spoke directly about the issue with reporters for the first time Friday _ he had been away from the team this week to get his injured back examined by a specialist in California.
The New Yorker posted a profile of Wilpon on its website Monday that contained some sharp criticism of three Mets stars: Wright, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran.
In it, Wilpon said Wright is “a really good kid. A very good player. Not a superstar.” Wilpon made the comments during the Mets’ 4-3 loss to Houston on April 20.
Much of the magazine story focuses on Wilpon and the Mets’ ownership group getting caught up in Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Wilpon is facing a multimillion dollar lawsuit filed by a court trustee seeking to recover money for victims of the scheme.
Wright released a statement through his agent Monday calling Wilpon “a good man” who is “obviously going through some difficult times.”
On Friday, Wright said his feelings haven’t changed. He answered questions from reporters for 15 minutes in front of his locker, but never actually mentioned Wilpon by name. He did say that Wilpon’s son, Jeff, the Mets’ chief operating officer, called him almost immediately Monday to apologize for all the things Wright was going to have to deal with once the story broke.
Wright said it isn’t the first time he’s been criticized, and he’s developed thick enough skin that one comment isn’t going to bother him too much. He said he still wants to finish his career with the Mets and noted that Wilpon has been supportive in the past, signing him to a multiyear contract.
Asked if it matters to him whether he is considered a superstar, Wright drew laughs when he said he received a text message from his parents saying he was their “superstar.”
Wright is on the disabled list with a stress fracture in his back and said he is “bored out of his mind.” He said he’s started doing some core exercises to help strengthen the muscles around the injury.
There is no timetable yet for his return, but manager Terry Collins and GM Sandy Alderson both said it’s possible Wright could be back within 10 days.
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