It sure didn’t take Jerry Manuel very long to become acclimated to the drama that has become the New York Mets. In just his very first inning as a Mets manager, his authority was snubbed by an indignant Jose Reyes who refused to come out of the game after a leadoff single.
After Reyes pulled up safely to first base, he began to grab his leg as if he had hurt himself. It immediately brought out Jerry Manuel who decided that rather than risking any further injury, he would have Jose Reyes sit out the rest of the game.
Reyes then launched into a temper-tantrum as he voiced his displeasure and adamantly refused to leave the field. Eventually Reyes did leave, but not before tossing his helmet, pulling out his jersey and yelling some sort of Spanish parting shots as he slipped by his teammates and into the clubhouse.
At that moment I watched in shock and thought it was just a continuation of the surreal events that had dominated the day. I felt bad for Jerry Manuel who was only trying to protect his player.
Maybe it was just the stress of the last 24 hours that triggered the tirade by Jose Reyes. In any event he eventually was seen apologizing to his new manager in the next inning, looking remorseful for his uncalled for reaction.
After the game, Jerry Manuel said, "In my first game, I didn’t want to lose Jose Reyes for an extended period of time. I don’t care how much you squiggle and squirm, you’re getting out of here tonight. You can be mad all you want to. You can be in here throwing rocks, slinging snot, cry all you want to, but you’re coming out.’"
I thought Manuel made the right call and in the end order was restored as he and Reyes patched things up. It wasn’t exactly the way most of us envisioned the start of the post Willie era, but nothing comes easy for the Mets these days,