The Major League Baseball Players’ Association announced each team’s nominees for the 2018 Marvin Miller Man of the Year award to be presented on November 27 at the Players Choice Awards.
The New York Mets selected oft-vilified teammate and one-time Flushing great Jose Reyes as their nominee for an award that is predicated on honoring “on-field and community leadership”.
Former Met Curtis Granderson was the Milwaukee Brewers’ selection, most notably for his work with the Grand Kids Foundation, “providing tools and resources for educational advancement”. Fellow NL East resident Freddie Freeman of the Braves is lauded for his work with the Melanoma Research Foundation.
Reyes, 35, was described as having “earned the respect of his teammates with the professionalism he demonstrated in transitioning from everyday player to role player” as if his .189/.260/.320 slash line in 228 at-bats this season didn’t warrant removal from the starting lineup.
The Players Association also noted how Reyes “took on the responsibility of mentoring young players, including […] Amed Rosario“.
This writer doesn’t make the connection between laughing and running amok amidst the worst loss in franchise history, a 25-4 defeat via the Nationals on July 31, after making his MLB pitching debut (one inning, allowing six runs on five hits), as setting a good example for younger players.
And it’s downright disturbing that Reyes’ history with domestic violence wasn’t considered when voting was conducted for the Man of the Year award. Keep in mind, Mets players are the ones who nominate a teammate for this honor.
Whether Reyes still holds an air of respect and leadership among his teammates — or if his teammates were instructed by someone to vote for him — will likely never be known. What is known, with great certainty, in fact, is that there are more deserving members on the New York Mets for this dignified honor than Jose Reyes.
Mets starter, and Long Island native, Steven Matz takes part in the team’s Veteran of the Game ceremonies during each home game, presenting a selected war veteran with a plaque and an American flag from Citi Field. Additionally, as part of his Tru32 initiative, Matz invites 32 first responders and military members to every Wednesday home game. He signs autographs for them, takes photos, and spends time with them before each game. Matz started Tru32 in 2016.
Brandon Nimmo, along with bringing his joyous exuberance and infectious smile along with him everywhere he goes, has visited over a dozen children’s hospitals and many other local events and attends nearly every Mets Community and Mets Foundation event. He’s only got a little over a year of MLB service time.
Fan-favorite Wilmer Flores was the honored recipient of the Thurman Munson Award for his work on and off the field throughout the 2016 season. Assuredly, he didn’t just stop doing amazing work with the Ronald McDonald House Charities, as well as the AHRC New York City Foundation.
How could a washed-up role player and domestic abuser even be mentioned in the same breath as such fine men as literally all of the other nominees? It’s absolutely mind-blowing, but at least we can take comfort in knowing that he won’t win it.