It’s Time to Move On From Failure

An article by posted on June 20, 2011

There are so many different opinions on this Jose Reyes saga, and frankly I’m ready for it all to be over. I think I’ve heard it all. I think part of the problem frankly is that the folks who are pro-long term Reyes think that people like myself dislike Reyes and that is why we don’t want to see him signed. I’ve heard so many ridiculous statements with regards to Reyes, that the argument is losing its value. When items such as race get mentioned, I tune the debate out because it’s reached a level of absurdity.

I’ve now heard 3 different people reference Rickey Henderson when discussing Jose Reyes. Let me be clear about one thing: Jose Reyes is not, nor ever will be Rickey Henderson. Just because they are both fast, doesn’t make it a fair comparison. So to use Henderson as an example for Reyes to continue his career long into his 30’s is borderline ridiculous.

I’m frankly tired of these Mets. I’m tired of hearing about Omar Minaya, I’m tired of watching a team that when we see them get to .500, we practically throw a parade in New York City. I’m tired of seeing people pretend that Jose Reyes’ 2011 season is exactly who Jose Reyes is. When a player has a career year at age 28, in the year of his contract expiring, I’m sorry but that is awfully convenient.

For those so in love with Jose Reyes that they blindly justify a 7 year deal, I ask you why? What has Jose Reyes done for the NY Mets over his 9 years as a Met?

The same people who love to get on David Wright’s “clutch” performance (or lack thereof), are the same people that pretend Jose Reyes is worth 7 years.

In 2007, the year of the epic collapse, Reyes hit .205 in September. In 2008, the sequel, he hit .243 in September. How come nobody ever talks about the fact that when the Mets needed Reyes the most, he failed? Heck, he only went 11 for 44 in the playoffs. Not exactly lighting up the box scores.

Not only did he fail, but teams like Florida and Washington, and even St. Louis in 2006 won in spite of him and his antics on the field.

In his 9 years, Reyes has won 1 Silver Slugger Award, made the All-Star team 3 times, led the league in hits once, never won an MVP, and has never won a Gold Glove. On top of that, he’s never won a championship, he’s a part of a core of players that is most known for failing than succeeding. Yet, for some reason we’re pretending he’s done so much for the Mets franchise?

Why? Because we like watching him play? How many times in the past have we all held our breath as Reyes turned second heading for third? “Please don’t get hurt!” But now, now that he happens to be having a career year, we’re going to forget about the past 8 years and suddenly expect that he’s turned the corner in health and performance?

I hope Alderson trades Reyes prior to July 31st. I hope he trades anybody and everybody he can, because as much as I love watching Reyes play, I’m tired of the same old Mets. I need to see a drastic change, not a false sense of success by signing a player to a long-term deal just to make angry Mets fans happy. You know that if they extended Reyes, there’s just going to be something else they complain about.

People who try and justify not trading Reyes like to point out that the Mets are within 3.5 games of the wildcard. Well the Pirates are within 3 games, are you going to tell me the Pirates have potential at the playoffs? Do you realize that on June 19, 2010 the Mets were 39-29 and 1.5 games behind ATLANTA for the DIVISION? And wait for it…they were IN THE LEAD for the wildcard!

Reyes’ trade value is never going to be any higher than it is right now. For a “rental” type trade, the Mets could actually get something of significant value for him if they play their cards right. I realize change is scary, but in order to move on from the failing past, they have to make changes.

Reyes is a very enjoyable player to watch, but this team is built on failures. The Mets don’t have a reason to believe this core can win anything. Why? Because when they were younger and in their prime, they failed in unforgettable fashion. They had their chance, and sadly, they failed. It’s a terrible outcome to swallow, but it happened. It’s time to move on.

Before I get any responses referencing David Wright, if I had my way he’d be gone also. I want to start over. I don’t just want Reyes to be traded, I want to move on from 2006-2009.

The truth, should you choose to look at the facts is that a player of Reyes’ caliber does not replicate his 2011 season for the next 6 to 7 years. It’s not going to happen.

Jose Reyes is not Tom Seaver, when Seaver was traded he had 3 Cy Young Awards, 9 All-Star appearances, and 4 Top 10 MVP finishes. Reyes has 1 Top 10 MVP finish in his career. Jose Reyes’ value to the Mets franchise doesn’t even come close to Seaver’s.

Those that choose to say it can or will are merely looking for an excuse to further blame Sandy Alderson for the pain and heartache that the Wilpon’s and Omar Minaya handed them since Adam Wainwright’s knee-buckling curveball.

My intention is to no way degrade Reyes or act as though he’s not a very good player. He is. He’s just not a franchise player in my view, and hasn’t done enough over the last 8 years for me to think 2011 is a sign of things to come. I want to move on with this franchise, and he holds possibly the greatest value to help jump start that process.

I enjoy watching Jose Reyes play just as much as the next fan. I wish things were different, and wish we were talking about a SS who helped us win a championship in 2006-2008. We’re not. We’re talking about fixing a broken franchise, and you don’t fix a broken franchise by making the same mistakes that got us here.

Change is a scary thing sometimes, but it’s the only way to turn this franchise around. If people choose to abandon the Mets simply because a player who has actually let them down for the last 8 years is sent away, then you’re really just looking for an excuse to abandon ship.

About the Author ()

Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.

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