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David Wright empathizes with Eli Manning in twilight of QB's career

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, left, holds

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, left, holds daughter Ava as he stands with New York Mets third baseman David Wright after Wright caught his ceremonial first pitch before a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field in New York, Sunday, June 17, 2012.  Credit: AP/Kathy Willens

Former Mets third baseman (and huge Giants fan) David Wright said he “felt for” Eli Manning last year as the team struggled through another losing season. Appearing on the debut episode of “The Adam Schein Podcast,” which will be available on SiriusXM On Demand and on Pandora on Wednesday, Wright spoke about his favorite football team and its quarterback.

“As an athlete, and this is me speaking from my experience, you want to tell everybody, including your body, when you’re done,” Wright said. “Very few athletes get the opportunity to kind of write their own story at the end. And with Eli, I felt for him last year, you know, kind of the ups and downs that he went through and I know what he’s brought to that organization is just invaluable, and for him to kind of go through some of the struggles and the criticisms.”

There will always be a bond among those who experience the adulation and frustration of the New York sports culture. That’s something Wright can share with Manning.

“Certainly from an outsider — take away the fact that I was in New York for so long — but as an outsider you’re like, ‘Man, that’s so unfair that he’s getting this criticism,’ ” Wright said of Manning. “But then knowing those fans, like we talked about, the passion they have in New York, that’s what New York is and that’s what has made Eli such a legend. It’s the same thing that’s built him up sometimes are kind of those same influences that try to chop you down. So it’s an interesting scenario.”

Wright also spoke about Saquon Barkley and the sudden retirement of Andrew Luck on the podcast. Wright went through a cycle of injuries at the end of his career similar to what Luck described when he stepped away last week.

“For me it was my mind was always telling me, ‘You’ve got it. You can do it. You can overcome this,’ ” Wright said. “And my body was just saying, ‘No, you can’t.’  And it was kind of an endless cycle of my mind winning over my body until it got to the point when my body just said, ‘Hey, no more. This is it.’ My body was just telling me that you can’t do this anymore.”

As for the Giants’ quarterback situation, they drafted Daniel Jones as Manning’s eventual replacement in the spring. While Manning will start this season at quarterback for the Giants, should the Giants not fare well early on the organization may make the switch to Jones. There are many who expect this season, no matter how it plays out, to be Manning’s last with the Giants. It is the last year of his contract with the team.

Wright, though, said he hopes that Manning continues to play quarterback for the Giants, and not just this season.

“If anybody’s going to handle it with the grace and class that’s going to be handled, it’s going to be Eli for certain,” Wright said. “So I’m looking forward to it and I hope he does well and that he can have however many more years that he wants to play of success.”

New York Sports