I’ve always been a big fan of Joel Sherman of the NY Post, but I think he really must have been in the midst of a bad hair day when he penned this piece this morning.
I warn you that this falls into the category of Wright and Reyes bashing, so if you want to turn the page by all means go for it. Sherman writes his intro as follows,
Jose Reyes and David Wright seemed on an arc to eclipse Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez as the pre-eminent left side of the infield in New York. That never happened, of course. And what has been problematic for the Mets is that there has been regression in the games of Reyes and Wright at a point both should be in their primes.
That may or not be true, and I’m not ready to stand up and say that their best years are behind them and not ahead of them. I mean we are talking about two established star level players who both just hit their mid twenties. He goes onto say,
The Mets signed Reyes and Wright to long-term contracts during the 2006 season, and they believed they had created stability for the future. They were young, homegrown, already thriving in their early 20s. Why would the Mets not believe that they had put the cornerstones of a foundation into place for a long time? That feeling was only accentuated as the team followed through in 2006 by nearly getting to the World Series. Who would have believed that was going to be the last great moment for this concept? That mostly misery lay ahead.
Both Reyes and Wright could point to a significant injury as the cause of their woes. Few will admit it, but I am convinced that Wright is still recovering from the concussion that came as the result of the beaning he suffered at the hands of Matt Cain. He is still showing the effects of not being as aggressive as he once was on the inside of the plate and bails out on any pitches that bite the inside corner. The inside part of the plate used to be Wright’s hot zone. This will get better with time and I’m already seeing signs of it.
In Reyes’ case, his game is totally built on the strength of his legs. After nearly a year since resuming baseball activities no thanks to a couple of severe leg injuries, Reyes had to completely re-acclimate himself to playing the game. Everyone expected that he would simply grab a bat and pick up where he last left off, and that was a totally unrealistic expectation. (The same could be said for Beltran when he finally returns.)Reyes was bound to struggle until he regained his timing, his stroke, and his confidence. He’s slowly getting there and I feel that he’ll be fine after the All Star break. It’s only a matter of time until Reyes begins to get some payback on those pitchers who are currently getting the best of him at the plate. Reyes will soon exact his pound of flesh from them, and return to being the catalyst he once was before he got hurt.
Sherman concludes his article by saying,
I keep wondering about the future as much as 2010. I assume no matter how poorly Reyes plays that the Mets will pick up his $11 million option for 2011. But that is just an assumption. The Mets probably know now – or should know – that they cannot build their team around Reyes and Wright. And that is an extraordinary setback for now and beyond.
If not Reyes and Wright, than who? Obviously, Sherman is wrong in his assertion that the Mets should move on from Reyes and Wright.
Hear me out… I’m not wearing blinders and I know fully well that both Wright and Reyes are not perfect. Yes, they both have flaws to their games and both could be better if they showed better baseball judgment and had more memorable clutch at-bats. But that’s not to say that either of them or not top 5 talents at their positions… Surely we can all agree on that…
Maybe Wright or Reyes will never be the type of players that will pick up the team and carry them on their back like Seaver, Strawberry, Hernandez and Piazza once did, but make no mistake that they still have tremendous value to this team and are in my opinion irreplaceable.
Most Mets fans that I know all firmly believe that Wright and Reyes will continue to be at the core of any Mets future.
That’s not conjecture, it’s just simply a fact.