After the Mets pulled off that dramatic comeback win over the Phillies last night – thank you Michael Conforto – I was going to let it go. Unfortunately, however, it kept gnawing at me and I just couldn’t move past it… I couldn’t let it go and I wanted to get it off my chest.
In the beginning….
Phillies’ starter Jake Arrieta was as crafty as ever, mixing speeds and working the edges of the plate with such mastery all game long. The Mets couldn’t get anything going against the veteran righty who had held the Amazin’s scoreless for 6 2/3 innings.
But with two outs in the seventh, and the Mets on the short side of a 1-0 nail-biter, some hope as Jose Reyes lines a well-placed pinch-hit single to left. The tying run was on base.
I loved the move by Mickey Callaway, it was bold and it was very promising. A completely transformed Smith had just rejoined the team and was having a terrific season at Las Vegas. At a svelte 215 pounds he had now lost an additional 15 pounds since spring training and 40 pounds total since the end of last season. But I digress.
With the Mets down by just one run, the former first-rounder could put the Mets in front with one swing of the bat… Or at least tie the game with a booming run-scoring double in the gap. Things were looking pretty good… I was channeling my inner Tug McGraw.
And then just like that, it was all over as Jose Reyes gets picked off first base and it wasn’t even close. What the hell was he thinking?
The look on Dominic Smith’s face said it all.
#Mets challenge call that José Reyes is out at 1B in the 7th; call confirmed, runner is out.
— MLB Replay (@MLBReplays) May 12, 2018
Despite the fact Reyes was clearly out, Callaway had nothing to lose by challenging the call, but can you imagine how disgusted he must have been?
Arrieta has one of the best pick-off moves in the game and he had almost caught Reyes the first time he checked him at first. So why, Jose, why?
Not only did Reyes take the bat out of Smith’s hands, but he rendered him unavailable for the rest of the game with the Mets already short on the bench.
Thankfully, the Mets would stage a thrilling comeback win anyway, but that doesn’t excuse the egregious play by Reyes.
Batting just .140/.178/.209 in 49 plate appearances this season, Reyes has done little in the way of any positive contributions on both sides of the ball.
Reyes, 35, is a mere shell of the player that was once so beloved by fans. A five-time All-Star and the Mets’ all-time leader in triples and steals, he’s been in a downward spiral since 2011 when batted .337 an won the franchise’s first batting title.
He suffered through the worst season of his career last season, when he batted .246 with a .314 on-base percentage, and many believed his time with the Mets had come to an end. But Sandy Alderson thought otherwise and brought him back on a $2 million dollar deal to fill a utility role.
“I never wanted to leave New York, but unfortunately that happened,” Reyes said at the end of last season. “Now, I’m at the end of my career. I’d love to end my career here as a New York Met.”
Just last week, when Mickey Callaway started Reyes in Cincinnati and he went 0-for-4, the newly minted Mets skipper defended Reyes, pointing out his veteran presence and the effect he’s having on the youngster Rosario. And that’s all well and good, but at what price?
I’m sorry, but I’ve been saying it for a few weeks now, but it’s really time to bring the Jose Reyes era to an end. I know that angers many of your sensibilities, but unlike Daniel Murphy, Reyes is a true net-negative right now as his -1.2 WAR over the last two years attests.
He’s gotta go. We cannot afford to waste a roster spot on someone as unproductive as Reyes, especially when we are fighting for dear life in what’s become a super competitive National League East. This is about winning games, not reliving former glories.