Coutinho: Mets’ Jose Reyes, The Best Player In New York

By Rich Coutinho
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There are a lot of stars in this town: Darrelle Revis, Mark Sanchez, Eli Manning, Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Henrik Lundqvist, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, to name a few of the biggest. But none shine brighter in New York than Jose Reyes.

That might sound like a bold statement, but it really isn’t. Reyes brings an emotion and passion to the game that few players — let alone superstars — bring to the table.

Reyes’ numbers this season jump off the page: .341 average, 61 runs scored, 113 hits, 14 triples, 26 stolen bases in LESS than half a season. He is keeping the Mets in the playoff hunt, a wild card race most believed the Mets could never be a part of. But it’s June 27 and the Mets trail the wild card leader by a mere 4 games in the loss column.

I certainly do not want to take anything away from the season Carlos Beltran is having (or the job Terry Collins has done with this pitching staff) but this team is all about Reyes right now. Yesterday, he had a 4-hit game, yet had the biggest play of the day with his glove in the first inning, an eye-popping defensive play that short circuited a Rangers rally. One that could sent the game in another direction.

Walk around Citi Field (I wish members of the media would do that just once a week) and you feel the passion Reyes evokes in the fans. Walk in the clubhouse and you see the passion he brings out in his teammates. He just makes the people around him better. He has made Justin Turner and Ruben Tejada better players because of both his talent and his leadership. That’s right, I said leadership.

Reyes does not do it by turning over a buffet table, he does it by speaking to people one on one. And before you ask the question, I will answer it. Not just Hispanic players. My Dad has been ill the past few years suffering from a number of ailments — including lung cancer — and not a day passes by without Reyes asking about him. And even in the days after losing his grandmother, Reyes still asked.

That is the kind of person Reyes is. He’s genuine in a world that generally eats up genuine people and spits them out. And Jose does not care about any of that. He only cares about playing baseball and being the best friend he can be to those in his inner circle.

You simply can not fake that kind of passion. Jose has that “it factor” that few people, let alone athletes, possess. It’s funny, when we were in spring training very few members of the media thought Reyes had a shot to get “Carl Crawford” money, dismissing him as a very good player with limitations. It never bothered Reyes. He kept smiling and kept saying it is great to be healthy. What we have found out is that what is great for Reyes is not so great for the rest of the National League, as he has been the best player in the sport for the past 3 months.

Better than Albert Pujols, better than Ryan Howard, better than A-Rod, better than anyone. And this has not changed Reyes at all. He still leads the league in smiles and just about every offensive category. And he may become the first Met to ever snare the MVP award.

That, my friends, makes him New York’s best player. In any sport. And in a city that owns more sports stars than any other city in the world, that speaks volumes. Loud enough that I can hear the cash register ringing in the background. Cha-ching, every time Reyes makes a jaunt from home plate to third base, which simply put, is the most exciting moment in baseball.

Or any sport in this town for that matter.

Is Reyes the best athlete in NYC? Let Coutinho know in the comments below…

  • luis501

    Wow lots of hating going on here! give the guy credit the guy is playing great right now not last year not the past 8 season right now he is the best athlete in NYC I just saw an article this morning only Ty Cobb had more stolen bases and base hits as a shortstop in first 1,000 career games than reyes
    Not jeter not a-roid so stop hating so much !!!

  • GREG


  • MCK

    WOW….I mean really…WOW! So a guy is playing his best baseball in his “contract year” and you’re ready to make him the King of New York! I guess his lousy play for the last 8 years means absolutely nothing! Jose Reyes sees Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth type money waiting for him and he says….”hamstrings don’t fail me now.” Carlos Beltran taught him well…..”don’t exert yourself kid until your contract is almost up.”

  • jeesch!

    yo greg instead of comenting on what other people write, what’s your OPINION
    that guys right, grow the f__k up punk!

  • twoshotsandAsplash

    Greg you need to grow up! papi’s right when he gets those big dollars he’ll disappoint again!

  • acoustic567

    The “best player” claim is arguable and probably unresolvable, but I’ve never seen an athlete (New York or anywhere else) who has cut a more compelling figure than Reyes has this year. As Ron Darling says, Reyes has become one of those guys for whom you don’t want to be at the hot dog stand when he comes up to bat. It’s hard to think of a baseball player who is not a HR hitter who has had that effect on fans.

    I don’t think he can keep it up, but Reyes has made the Mets worth the price of admission this year.

    • Big Bear

      So you’ve never seen an athlete in NY or elsewhere like Reyes.

      My guess is you must be only 10 yrs old or new Mets fan or in a coma, but there was once a great leadoff hitter by the name of Ricky Henderson, he played for the Yankees from ’85 to ’88. He’s now in the Hall of Fame. He was everything you think Reyes is, but more, a lot more.

      In ’85 in score 140 runs, stole 80 bases, hit 24 hrs & batted .316

      In ’86 he scored 130 runs, stole 87 bases and hit 27 hrs

      Look up Ricky’s career stats & look up Reyes’s, take medication before you do, you will not be able to handle it at your tender age of 10 or you’ll be right back in a coma.

      So because you have not seen a player like Reyes just means you had not seen much at all.

      Reyes is having a great first half, but it’s not how you start that matters but on how you finish that does. Ricky Henderson was one of hell of a player, every year, not just half a season.

      Need I say more?

      • flea

        Jose Reyes couldn’t hold Rickey’s jock.

  • BL

    Well said JP. Who is Jose Reyes? Oh yeah, he is the “emotional and passionate” player who acts like a clown in the dugout and gets under the skin of the opposition. Who then repays the Mets in the final game of the season by putting a stamp on two epic regular season collapses. When was the last time Jose has got a big hit in a big game? Ok, when was the last time Jose had a good situation at bat in a big game? Still waiting on the answer… To anoint him a “Superstar” for a half season is almost comical. The only thing I see him winning in the near future is “Dancing With the Stars”. ABC execs should get the ball rolling on that one.

    • Steve - Bellmore

      why don’t you look at anything he’s ever done, whenever he’s been healthy. If you watch Met games which you probably don’t you know that he carrying this team on his back like no one’s ever done since maybe Piazza.

      • BL

        Did my point ever say that he isn’t carrying the Mets on his back or having a great season? No because Im not ignorant and he is arguably have the best season in the MLB’s (him or Adrian Gonzalez), but its only ½ a season so far! I disagree with the article saying Jose Reyes is a superstar. From my memory does a superstar player have a career .290 BA and .339 OBP for a leadoff hitter??? Also, he is inconsistent, injury prone, hasn’t excelled in pressure spots and has lapses on the field that shouldn’t be made by a superstar player. Here is all of the biggest games he has ever played in: 2006 Game 7 NLCS 0 for 5 (playoffs .290 BA .298 OBP for a leadoff hitter!) – 2007 Final game 0 for 5 – 2008 Final game 1 for 4. Wasn’t he healthy in 2006, 2007, and 2008? These points can all change because he is still young and has a world of talent, but he is not a superstar and I would not give him $140 mil.

      • A.J

        Piazza took the Mets to the World Series; Piazza helped the Mets to two consecutive playoff appearances for the only time in Mets history, ’99 & ‘00

        In ’06 it was on the back of Delgado & Beltran that the Mets got there.

        What has Reyes done? oh yeah, now I remember, in September of ’07 when the Mets had a big lead, they choked it, & September of ’08 they had a 4 game lead with a few games to go & they choked it and what did Reyes do both times, hit .170 in ’07 & .240 in ’08 and both times the Mets choked, Reyes was healthy both years.

        He choked when the Mets needed him most

        Don’t’ compare Reyes to Piazza; he does not come even close. Reyes could not carry or fit into Piazza’s jock strap.

  • Bette

    It’s hard to say anyone is the best. But it is easy to say who is the most exciting to watch. That’s Jose Reyes. If Jose makes it to first base, Jose scores. Add to that all of his enthusiasm for the game and the fact that he is such a sweet guy, okay, maybe he is the best.

  • Sean

    Reyes has been in the league for 9 yrs and now because he’s having a career first half he’s the best player in New York. Where was Reyes for the last 8 yrs?

    If he is the best player why haven’t the Mets on a title by now? Great players are the reason why teams win titles, good players like Reyes is the reason why teams don’t win titles.

    Let’s not get carried away with giving players who hasn’t won anything a title.

    Reyes needs to help the Mets win a title & be the reason why they won before he can be claimed the best

    Coutinho loves to stir the drink, but stirs it badly. I’m still waiting for Thole to hit ( .246 & no hrs) & for Bay to be the reason why the Mets lineup is the best in the NL. He wrote articles on both these subject, like everything else he’s written about his beloved little Mets, he’s been wrong.

  • ace11

    I must be really dumb for reading this Moron’s Coulmn all the time..

    Coutinho: you are complete IDIOT

    your Jacka** articles make the Mets like the champs of baseball


    • flea

      Coutinho is the same guy who last month said the Mets have the best line-up in the N.L.

  • D. Winfield

    WOW, the guy has a nice 1st half in his option year and you’re already crowning him the best in NY? C’mon, Coutinho, what are you smoking? Let him at least do it gor 1 full season to even include him in the discussion!

    • flea

      Jose Reyes is one hamstring away from a long vacation. It’s only a matter of time.

  • Arrogant Yankee Fan

    Typical met style article.
    Every year the mets have a short period of winning, or a player does really well. Suddenly he is the best player, or suddenly the mets are going to contend for the division.
    Get over it. The mets are the laughing stock of New York! They suck, they always sucked, and they always will suck. METS stands for My Entire Team Sucks.

    Reyes is a piece of garbage. Sure he plays well, but he is a little baby. So far the only rings he has are the ones that little kids get with the piece of candy stuck to it.

    Reyes will be gone soon anyway.

  • Greg Efner

    I Meant to say “Stupid comment Ryan Brandle!!
    Sorry happy

  • Arturo Castelo Jr

    Right now at this moment in time, yes he is. He is keeping a team desimated by injuries in the wild card hunt.

  • Scott

    Nicely written article Richard. No doubt he is special to watch and playing exceptional baseball. It is very nice to hear a writer speak so highly of an athlete.

  • Happy 4 Papi

    yes right now but he’s very inconsistant! he may be playing well to get that Carl Crawford money! If he does watch the ball roll right off the table!
    one example over rated over paid Vince Carter! enough said!

  • Ryan Brandle

    Really, better then any other athlete in town… I don’t think so, you can’t make that statement without the team being at least a true contender. When the Mets do what the Jets have done then you can put him on Revis Island till then Revis is the best in town

    • Greg Efner

      Stupid comment!! Happy 4 Papi

    • Happy 4 Papi

      I agree Ryan! simply said but right on the (MONEY!)

    • JP

      What is it the Jets have done recently that the Mets haven’t done? Make it to the league championship game? 2006 Mets did that, and yes, like the Jets they lost. Win a world championship? Yes the Jets won theirs in 1968, the Mets have won 2 since then (69′ and 1986) So just going on your quote of ” When the Mets do what the Jets have done”, the facts back up the Mets have indeed done more in recent history. Not taking anything away from Revis one bit, however, he is not the first person that someone thinks of when it comes to NY sports.

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