As the still vivid image of the Kansas City Royals celebrating on his home field blurs with the passage of time, David Wright will look back on the 2015 World Series and smile.
"It's disappointing that you get this close and you can kind of see that championship right there," Wright said outside of Citi Field on Tuesday. "We just fell a little short. I don't think it's anything to hang our head about . . . I don't think anybody has had time yet to reflect, but when we look back on this, I think everybody is going to be proud, which we should be. It's going to put a smile on our face."
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A smile may seem like a small consolation prize given the alternative of a championship ring on the Mets' fingers. But for Wright, after waiting nine years to get to the postseason and having a four-month recovery from spinal stenosis, he will not let defeat overshadow the experience.
"For me, again, some of the best times I'm ever going to have on a baseball field," said Wright, who hit .208 with a home run and four RBIs in the World Series. "So I'll look back on this with a smile on my face and be very proud of what we were able to accomplish."
Wright's appreciation for the Mets' accomplishments may be a product of his firsthand knowledge that one season's success does not promise perennial contention. In 2006, Wright helped guide the Mets to the National League Championship Series for an appearance that seemed as if it would be the first of many. Yet after Carlos Beltran watched a breaking ball drop into the zone for a called strike three to end the series, eight autumns passed before another postseason pitch was thrown in Flushing.
But with news of Terry Collins' contract extension Tuesday, along with a pitching staff of promising 20-somethings under the Mets' control, Wright believes the Mets are showing the stability of a contender.
"I think that anytime you can come back with kind of that same core, same coaches, same manager proves that you are not only going in the right direction but you have some success to build on," he said.
Wright, who was out of the lineup from April 15 to Aug. 23, was diagnosed in May with spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column. He said he plans to take some time and speak to the doctor regarding his back.
Curtis Granderson, Michael Conforto and Juan Uribe also made an appearance at Citi Field on Tuesday. Collins departed at around 1:30 p.m. and general manager Sandy Alderson left shortly after 4. News of Collins' extension broke around 4:30.
With Collins' future secure, Wright was asked if he had any discussions with Daniel Murphy or Yoenis Cespedes, whose futures with the Mets are also in question.
"I'm sure I'll be in touch," Wright said. "That's what's great about this team, very close, so we have constant communication with each other. So, whether it's fantasy football trades or free agency or whatever, we're in pretty good contact with everybody."