There Is No Joy In Metsville
Friends, there is no joy in Metville today.
The prevailing emotion I fee is sadness. I’m sure in the coming days it will be boiling anger. However, losing Reyes-that seemed inevitable, is still shocking. As long as there was a glimmer of hope.
He leaves after nine years of thrills that commenced as a young colt of 19. Conversely, he will spend his prime years as the enemy. That alone is enough to churn the innards into a knotted mess.
The fact that he was beloved stings like lemon juice squirted on an open wound. Poof, he’s gone.
Furthermore, I will leave the finger-pointing at Sandy Alderson, the Wilpons, or even M. Donald Grant, and deconstruction of another management debacle for another time. I just want to pay my respects to talent lost (a recurring theme since Sandy-bagged arrived).
Friends, our most exciting player has left the building. (But think about the savings in reduced parking, beer, and programs at Shea, er, Citi). To the Marlins, for god’s sake. That means the possibilities of torture are endless. Do the math:19 games a year, four at-bats, for the next 6 (7) years.
Maybe Reyes’ balky hamstrings do continue to deteriorate. Maybe he plays 130 games or less next year for Miami. Or, maybe he steps into the box approximately 500 times for the next six seasons against his former club and makes them pay-one way or another. Only time will tell.
For now, the clock stops on all the speculation: will he stay or will he go? Reyes is officially history (now move in the fences to band box proportions!).
Speaking of history, the Mets are doomed because they continue to repeat it. First Tom Seaver, who Grant would not pay commensurate to Nolan Ryan, was dealt. Then after the 1990 season the Mets watched Darryl Strawberry go home to the Dodgers. Yesterday, the team made it a hat trick by losing their third homegrown superstar.
Serves him right for winning the NL batting title!
I hearken back to the story recounted by Ralph Kiner about Branch Rickey. When Kiner won the home run crown for the Pirates, and requested a modest raise, the tight-fisted GM responded: “We finished in last place with you, and we can finish in last place without you.”
It’s quite evident in what direction the Mets are headed. South. What a shame for the many Mets’ fans who marveled at Jose’s array of skills and the unbridled enthusiasm he brought to a franchise that has experienced more grief than glory.
About the Author: Doug Branch
Doug has been sports writing since 1983. He first wrote about the Mets at spring training that year, and his first interviewee was surly catcher Ron Hodges. He currently writes for Mets Inside Pitch, among other magazines published by Scout Publishing-which is owned by Fox Sports. He began following the team during the Wes Westrum era, and redeemed many Borden milk coupons for free Saturday baseball. The night of Tom Seaver's imperfect game against the Cubs, he was in line to buy a ticket when the windows slammed shut and abject disappointment ensued.
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