Don’t Underestimate Reyes’ Bond With Teammates, Manager, And His Loyal Fans

Terry Collins Manager Terry Collins #10 of the New York Mets greets Jose Reyes #7 during player introducitons against the Washington Nationals during the Mets' Home Opener at Citi Field on April 8, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens in New York City.

It looks like Mets fans are already beginning to emotionally disconnect themselves from Mets shortstop Jose Reyes. Those fans who were still holding out hope that the Mets could retain Reyes, are sure to re-think their position after the sobering news that Scott Boras may be setting up camp outside Citi Field to be closer to his newest superstar client.

I feel sorry for Jose Reyes – all the talent in the world and no one to guide him off the field.

Oh yes, the agent vultures are gathering, but there is no golden path for him to follow to the next level. Somehow he’s managed to reach this level almost on his own – until Terry Collins arrived on the scene. Terry has been invaluable for Jose which is why the Mets should move heaven and earth to do right by this player – keeping him with the only family he knows outside his own – the Mets.

I can still remember the times the Mets sent Jose to Port St. Lucie to practice on some things that were just images – like the way he ran.

He came to the Mets fresh from his home, with no major league baseball experience and a language barrier. Scott Boras is salivating over this – a fresh player with all this talent. Do you imagine Scott as a fatherly type who will look out after Reyes’ best interests? Of course not. For him, Reyes is simply a cash cow and nothing more.

Even MetsBlog, where so many fans go for their Mets news, sounds like they’ve emotionally divested themselves from Reyes and are now cushioning the blow. Regarding Reyes getting that Carl Crawford sized contract Fred Wilpon spoke of, they write:

I think it’s foolish to commit such resources to a guy who could potentially be playing as well as he will ever play, all while having a recent history of durability problems that precedes a potentially career year.

Why is it foolish to pay a Carl Crawford type player, a Carl Crawford type salary? It seems the new Mets only want to pay their Carl Crawford type players, Brett Gardner type money. Other teams don’t and won’t operate that way, opting instead to pay a player at market value. Most of those teams all operate in the northeast with the Mets where many of the big markets exist.

Soon more and more will comfort themselves and say things like: We don’t need Reyes to win… He’s not really this good… He’ll be a very old 34 at the end of a seven year deal… He’s injury prone and you could find leadoff hitters anywhere…

It’s the perfect scenario for Mets ownership and the front office. The more fans they can get to disconnect, the less blow-back and PR hits the team will have to deal with once Reyes is officially gone.

I choose to hang onto the thin glimmer of hope that Reyes may genuinely like it here. He and manager Terry Collins have made a big connection and they each talk about it quite often. Yesterday, Reyes said he loves playing for Terry Collins. He never said that about Jerry Manuel or Willie Randolph with whom he had many less than optimal moments. 

Reyes and David Wright are like brothers who grew up together in the Mets family. Wright has spoke up for signing Reyes more than few times already since the end of last season. He said he doesn’t want to imagine looking to his left and not seeing Reyes at shortstop when he’s on the field.

Carlos Beltran has been a mentor and father figure for Reyes from the moment they first met.

Maybe Jose’s relationships and connections with his teammates, his manager and of course all those loyal fans that are still holding out hope and want to see Reyes signed no matter what, will be a big factor in his final decision.

I want to thank Terry for his part in helping and guiding Jose. Let’s hope and pray that Jose stays here at home and that everything he needs to keep on being ‘his own self’ on the field is provided.

Players like Jose Reyes come along once every decade or two. Sadly, zero effort has been made by this front office to try and retain Jose Reyes, not even a friendly phone call. Actions speak louder than words.  

All we can do now as fans, is wish Jose all the best and hope that he is with us forever. Hope may not be much to go on, but it seems that’s all we have.

Written by Annie Savoy and Joe D.