Enter the Mets' clubhouse, look ahead and to the right, and there's Ike Davis - smiling, hanging out at his locker, fiddling with his BlackBerry. Then turn directly to your right, and there's David Wright's locker. He's running around, getting ready.
They represent disparate phases in the marvel that is fan-athlete relations: honeymoon at 2 o'clock, reality at 3.
"I feel it's great that they do like me, I guess, right now," Davis said Sunday before the Mets' 1-0, five-inning, rain-shortened win over the Braves that completed a sweep and gave them six wins in their last seven games. "It's positive, definitely. It's better than getting booed."
Said Wright: "Better players have been booed. I've been booed before. It's not the first, and it's not going to be the last.
"If you want all the perks that come along with playing in New York, you have to understand that when you're struggling and the team's not playing well, you're going to be under a microscope."
Wright struck out in his first at-bat last night, extending his career-worst streak to 12 straight games with at least one strikeout. In his second at-bat, with teammates on first and third and two outs in the fourth, he broke his bat on a Tommy Hanson fastball and popped out weakly to second baseman Martin Prado.
The only reason you didn't hear a loud chorus of boos? So few people actually braved the rain and cold to attend the game that the Mets allowed fans to move up to better seats.
"It's the nature of the game, especially in New York," Davis said. "They still have to love David, and do . . . I think it's more them really wanting them to do well. It's a good thing. It's just baseball, I guess."
Six years ago, it was Wright whose every step and swing were applauded. Who could do no wrong. And much to the Mets' delight, their faith paid off; Wright's first four full seasons, 2005 through 2008, were sublime.
Through virtually no fault of his own, however, disappointing team conclusions to '06, '07 and '08 fueled the notion that Wright wasn't "clutch." Then, last year, he and everyone else fell apart.
That he entered last night with a .230 batting average and .426 slugging percentage - his .415 on-base percentage is just fine - only strengthened that microscope.
"Hopefully, I'm saving mine when some other guys might be struggling, when I can step up and help," said Wright, whose first-inning strikeout gave him 24, tying Florida's Cameron Maybin for the most in the National League.
Wright gets it: There's a different type of vibe that he and Jose Reyes receive, as opposed to folks such as Bay, or Johan Santana, or Carlos Delgado when he was here. Said Wright: "There's a different or special attitude with the homegrown guys, the guys the Mets have developed. I think there's something to be said for that."
The cheers are more passionate. And the boos reflect a different type of disappointment.
Which makes Wright the perfect tour guide for Davis, in his journey as Mets phenom.
"He told me when I first got here, 'Do what you did to get here,' " Davis said. " 'Stay humble,' stuff like that. 'Don't let any outside stuff affect your game. Keep it fun and simple, and don't get involved in papers and reading stuff. If someone says something negative about you, it doesn't matter. Just do what you can control.' "
Ultimately, if Davis gets the sorts of boos that Wright does now, it will mark a net positive for the Mets. It will mean that Davis climbed high enough to suffer that kind of tumble. That he stuck around long enough to reach reality.
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