Coutinho: Let’s Clear Some Stuff Up About Jose Reyes

By Rich Coutinho
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I have sat and listened to the so-called experts pontificate about the merits of Jose Reyes and whether the Mets could or should sign him. All I keep hearing is about the last game of the season and how Jose Reyes should have done this or done that. The bottom line is he led the league in both batting and triples and those facts are undeniable. In a season in which many injured Mets took many weeks to return to the lineup (some took all season) Reyes pushed his body to return and played 100% every waking moment. I’d venture to guess if the Braves or Red Sox had him, we would not be talking about their collapses and Terry Francona would still be wearing a Bosox hat. That is how valuable I think Jose is to a team.

Of course, Jose can not do it alone and much will depend on how Sandy Alderson reconstructs his bullpen and what the Mets get from Johan Santana in 2012. But this nonsense about Reyes in the season finale is just that — nonsense. Aside from the people who paid their way into Citi Field, no one has a right to complain and, the last time I checked, members of the media do not pay their way into ballparks. The bottom line here is most of the media threw dirt on Jose Reyes last year saying he’d never show he could be a great player.

Hanley Ramirez and Troy Tulowitzki had their breakout seasons. What about Jose? Well, now that he had a breakout seasons, the media has to explain away why they buried Jose Reyes and so they hang onto “this season finale nonsense”. Bottom line is Jose Reyes had enough at-bats to qualify and fully understood how important winning a batting title was both to him and the Mets organization. Important to him because it enhances his “free agent” value and important to the Mets because nobody in the franchise’s 50 year history had ever done it.

Football-wise, this would be like Adrian Petersen passing Frank Gore for the rushing title by a yard and then sitting out a meaningless quarter because he did not want to fall back into second if he was pinned with a 5 yard loss. It takes nothing away from Petersen and the same can be said for Reyes. This uproar has little to do with what occurred in the season’s last game but more to do with the media always having the last word. You see the media kept telling us all year that Jose Reyes could not have that breakout season but he did. They told us he could not possibly command heavy dollars on the open market but he will.

Will that big contract be with the Mets? My guess is both sides want this and for that reason it will get done. I do not think it will be done quickly because chances are Reyes will get other bids for his services which he will entertain. But believe you me — whomever signs Reyes will be lucky to have one of the true game changers on their roster. Now, a big dollar commitment should be scrutinized carefully and much must be considered. But at no point, will any team waste any time asking themselves if Reyes leaving the season finale after one at-bat impacts their decision. That is unless they are considering changing career paths to become a member of the media.

Is Reyes judged too harshly? Leave a comment below.

  • TK 64

    Fact is: Jose Reyes led the NL in batting and is the first Met to do so.
    Truth is: whether he had accomplished that or not, the Mets need him to succeed. Hopefully, they’ll keep the facts in mind, understand the truth of their situation and sign him to a long-term deal.

  • Karen Zuckerman

    Not signing Reyes would be the 2nd worse move by the Mets in their history. Number 1 was sending Tom Seaver away.

  • Help the Mets

    To all,

    Management should sign Reyes and have him hit third in the batting order. Trade Wright for what ever you can get. Play Murphy at third base and sign Denard Span to play centerfield and bat leadoff.

    This new look team will score more runs and will not depend so much on the long ball. Ship Pelfrey and Parnell to KC or any other city with a small fan base. Both are not made to pitch in the big spotlight or major market.

  • Jim

    Plus, Reyes surged to the batting title going 7 for 11 in his last 3 games while Braun went 2 for 7 in his last 3 games.

  • tilly grey

    How come no one is talking about the six at-bats he had the night before? That’s when he won the title and, by the way, hit two home runs and had a single. I agree on most teams after 13 innings the night before a day game, he wouldn’t have even been in the lineup.

    • FYI

      because tilly gay you play 162 full games not 161 or 162 with one a bat.

    • Jim

      Good point. 13 innings the night before, and on a hamstring that was already preventing him from running full speed, as it was the whole last month. Definitely a game he normally would not of been playing at all in. Should he of risked getting hurt in the final game of the season before his free agent offseason?

      This controversy is just media over saturation, twitter, blogs, TV, radio, everyones gotta have a knee jerk over-reaction to everything. It’s silly.

  • Jim

    Agree. In no way should what he did in his last game overshadow a TERRIFIC season. Also it’s ridiculous for those trying label him a selfish player now based on his last game when he’s been anything but that to the fans and teammates over his entire 7 year career. He’s been an energetic passionate encouraging teammate and very friendly to the fans, taking the time for autographs, pictures, etc.

    • George

      Reyes has been labeled a selfish player his entire Mets career (9 yrs), not just for what he did the last game of the year because he is a selfish player.

      Everyone knows Reyes is looking for a big day. With him getting just one at bat & then ASKED TO BE REMOVED in order to win the batting title (not championship) Reyes agent can now use that to get more money.

      Reyes even said “Mets fans need to understand what’s going on. They have to feel happy about it if I win the battling title” those words speak for themselves.

      Mets fans are now are saying he did right, protecting him, because he’s homegrown though Reyes has never delivered a title in his 9 yrs as a Met .

      After the WS is over and he signs with another team, which he will? I want to hear what Mets fans have to say. My guess here is they’ll blame the owner and not their wonder boy Reyes for taking the money & running to another team, batting title & all.

      By the way Coutinho, the Tigers Cabrera batted .344, best in baseball, Red Sox Gonzalez, .338 & Rangers Young batted .338 as well and Reyes falls to 4th in batting behind them. Stop lying to Mets fans; they would believe Reyes led both leagues in hitting.

      • Jim

        Let me guess, you a Philly fan or Yankee fan? The way you said Reyes has never “delivered a title”, sounds like a real overly simplistic analysis. Like it was ever solely up to him.

        Simply saying it’s otherwise does not make it true. Reyes has never been labled a selfish player in his entire career by anybody other than those with a very biased motive, like a Philly or Yankee fan. For the reasons I mentioned he’s been anything but a selfish player for his whole (7 full years, 9 year career). Just to add to those reasons, how many “selfish” players play with an injured hamstring stopping them from running full strength like he did for the last month of the season in their free agent walk year? Do you really think GM’s are going to offer him so much additional money now just because he finished a few points higher in BA and won the batting title? As opposed to finsihing 2nd in the race and batting a few points less? So that was his justification for the last game. That is ridiculous.

        The batting title was important to him as winning a batting title would be important to anyone, in any year, and he knew it was important to the Mets. I would of liked him to stay in the game, but as a Met fan I am also happy he won the batting title. Plus he was playing hurt not able to run full strength for the last month of the season. This is a game day after night where Terry Collins would of rested him if not for it being the final game. Also there is tons and tons of precedence for players taking themselves out or not even playing the last game to win a batting title. It’s not like he’s the only one to ever do something like this. Not by a long shot.

        • George

          YOU MUST BE A METS FAN, no need to guess.

          The way Mets fans, AND ONLY METS FANS, speak of Reyes you would think he was Mays, Aaron, Jeter & Ruth, who all delivered titles yet Reyes has not, I wonder why?

          You’re a Mets fan, AND ONLY METS FANS, think & speak they way you do. You talk about players like Reyes, Wright, Davis, Pelfrey, Harrleson, Agee with words like great, dominates.

          Ruth, Gehrig, Mays, DiMaggio, Aaron, Williams, Clemente, Griffey Jr. were great.

          Puljos, Jeter, A-Rod, Thome are great

          Mo, Halladay, C.C & Felix Hernadez are dominant & great

          Seaver, Ryan, Koufax, Gibson dominated & great.

          Reyes, Wright, Pelfrey, highly likely, not by a long shot.

          Many players have won the batting title and many of those players never won another one or ever had a season like that again. Reyes is a career .292 hitter, not a .337 hitter.

          Don’t have a heart attack Jim, but those are thefacts.

          By the way, very gay on that Reye’s ESPN playgay cover. I’m sure you will buy it.

  • Ron Davis

    To me i can see why people were upset that he left the game early but thats his business. on a normal day after night he would not been in the lineup. He got up he did what he did and got off the bases . So be it. We may of wanted more but he did exactly what he wanted and it ended up being our first batting champion Kudos

  • Rev.Al

    A good view of Jose Reyes,it made me root for him again.

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