Opinion: What’s The Deal With Jose Reyes?

An article by posted on May 15, 2009

Yesterday Jose Reyes was the big topic of conversation and it was due mostly to a couple of reasons.

The first being, his erratic decisions while running the bases (or trotting), and the second big flare up came when the news hit that a stiff calf would keep him out of the lineup.

The radio call-in shows were hit with waves of trade Jose Reyes calls and even our site had plenty of comments that suggested the same.

There are now two solid camps within the Mets fan base regarding Jose Reyes. Rather than simplifying them as the pro and the con, let me define it a little further.

Camp 1 – Jose Reyes is the driving force of the Mets, without him they are nothing. He is still young and the mistakes he makes are nothing compared to everything else he can do as well as his enormous potential. He is the best shortstop in baseball!

Camp 2 – Jose Reyes needs to grow up already. I don’t care how young he is, this is his seventh season in the majors. If he doesn’t get it by now, he never will. We don’t lose much by keeping him, but if he can bring a Roy Halladay or another ace to this team than the Mets should do it. He’s not even among the top five shortstops in baseball!

Many believe that Mets manager is in camp two, and that there is nothing wrong with Jose’s calf that would have kept him out of the game. Jerry Manuel used the stiffness as a reason to get Reyes out of the lineup without having to confront him like Willie did and send the rest of his season into a tailspin. Most of the Mets beat writers alluded to that this morning, and  WFAN’s Joe Benigno lobbied that idea all morning, adding that Reyes was benched last night for muffing things up in the last two games.

Speaking of the beat writers, John Harper of the Daily News wrote this,

The myth the Mets have tried to sell everyone the last couple of years is that Jose Reyes is still young, that he’ll stop making bonehead plays when he matures as a major leaguer. Only it’s faulty logic any way you want to dissect it.

For one thing, in baseball terms Reyes is not young at all anymore. He’ll be 26 in a few weeks, he’s been in the major leagues for seven seasons, and it’s not as if he came to the game late. He grew up playing it in the Dominican Republic, and, organized or not, that’s a scenario scouts say has produced a lot of savvy ballplayers.

More to the point, baseball instincts aren’t something that necessarily come with maturity. Bernie Williams was bright and classy, but right to the end of his career, he ran the bases as if trying to solve a crossword puzzle.

In short, for all of his wondrous talent, Reyes – who sat out Thursday night’s game with stiffness in his right calf – may never have the feel for the game that would complete the package and make him one of the absolute best players in baseball.

At some point, then, the Mets may have to seriously consider the question of whether Reyes’ penchant for costly mistakes outweighs his game-changing ability. Depending how this season plays out, trading Reyes may be the best way to remake a ballclub that leads the world in exasperating its fan base.

As for me and what I believe…

Jose Reyes is what he is. We should accept him as one of the most exciting players the Mets have had in their long history. Nothing is more thrilling than watching Jose Reyes leg out a triple, and let’s not forget that he was the first of what we now refer to of the core players. Wright may be the face of the franchise, but Reyes helped put the Mets back on the map.

Trading Reyes is a ridiculous notion and the Mets would never get fair value in return. So what if Reyes makes the inevitable boneheaded play, he’s still one of the best players on the team.  Will he make me mad when he screws up? Yes and I’ll be quite verbal about it when it happens too. But make no mistake that he is one of my favorite players on this team and I would be devastated if the Mets ever traded him.

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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