I don’t want to say, “You won’t find a bigger Jose Reyes fan than me,” because quite honestly, there probably are many more who are bigger. But I do love him. I hope he stays a Met, but I am a realist in knowing his limitations as a player and what his “value” may be, for better or for worse. But I don’t come to you today in writing that. No, far from it.
If you watched the game today, Jose Reyes bunted for a single in his very first at-bat. Today was Game 162, in a very meaningless season in an equally-as-meaningless game, after said bunt single, Reyes was pulled for pinch runner Justin Turner.
There were several subthemes in today’s story. One was that it was Game 162, and Reyes is playing for a contract. Reyes has also been hurt twice this season, one of his limitations as a player (his legs, and his game is based on his legs). Two is that Terry Collins even said prior to the game that if Jose Reyes were to get two hits quickly, he’d be pulled. Third? Jose Reyes is “fragile” with his legs, and it’s been well-documented that Collins wanted to give him the day game after a night game off. Two reasons Reyes started today? 1) To appease fans who wanted to wish him well in case this happened to be his last game as a Met and 2) To preserve his lead in the batting race.
You want to know what I was upset about this afternoon? That I couldn’t go crazy and give a proper standing ovation for my current favorite Met, Jose Reyes. (Optimistic Mets Fan, Ceetar, said I could give him my standing O when he returned in April…I hope!!). What I would have liked to do is send him to his position in the 2nd inning, send Justin Turner out there, and have Jose take a curtain call. People looked at me like I was crazy when I was chanting, cheering and screaming. Most of the folks who were getting settled in their seats didn’t even realize he was being taken out. Collins did us dirty, in my opinion. But we learned later that this was Reyes’ doing. (Collins also did the same thing with fan favorite David Wright later in the game, giving a pinch runner,instead of allowing Wright to take his position and then come out).
Look, if this was any other day game after a night game situation, none of us would say shit about it. The reality is, we want our players to “earn” things. The common refrain I’ve been hearing is, “Well Ted Williams played the last game of the season to preserve his .400 average.” Well, Reyes is NOT Ted Williams. The GAME isn’t even of the ilk of Ted Williams day! ENOUGH ALREADY!!! Will it make us feel better if it was earned “fair and square,” whatever the Hell that means?
There was no HGH involved, like some tainted records. There was no “stats padding” involved, like some players are accused of (Carlos Beltran, Alex Rodriguez, etc). Even a Milwaukee writer defended Reyes earlier, saying that batting titles have been gamed since the beginning of time.
For all the in-fighting I have seen amongst Mets fans, (and trust me, I’ve seen a lot and have been part of many arguments), this has to be one of the most asinine I’ve ever witnessed.
In my years as a blogger, I’ve been a “bitch,” a “loudmouth,” a “know-nothing” (because I am a woman), and a “non-fan.” The “non-fan” thing always cracked me up, because I don’t think I could ever be accused of that (the other stuff is fair game). There was one night, as an example, on Twitter where I had a raging migraine, and there was a particularly tedious game on the TV. I made a comment to the universe at the game, that I wouldn’t have lasted as long as they would have. Some non-entity later told me that, “You’re not a real fan” because I made a comment that I wouldn’t have lasted as long.
I’ve been a fan since I was seven. That was a LONG time ago. I go to 30+ games a year, and go to games on the road. But I’m not a “real fan.” **SMH.**
I made it a point to never judge another person who called themselves a fan from that point on. I have friends on the West Coast who can’t make as many Mets games as they’d like. I have friends close by that can’t make as many games as they’d like. Does that make them less of a fan? No. Just to self-righteous people it does.
My point is, I don’t like to judge or gauge people’s fandom towards the team we both love. But today takes the prize hands down. We have a great player who could potentially win something, a MEANINGLESS something, a piece of paper, that no other player who wore their uniform before has won. And they still wish to diminish it. My personal favorite? Some have even said they wish that Ryan Braun goes 5-for-5 today. On “principal!”
I’m going to come right out and say it..
YOU ARE NOT A FAN. AND YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS. (My friend Dave is excluded, but he’s a more of an emotional spectrum of fan, so I let is slide. Plus I know him, and I’m biased).
Furthermore, where the Hell are all the “true Mets fans” who will defend not only Reyes, but also tackle the media that is out to get the Mets? Before, it was all over Terry Collins. Collins said it was Reyes’ idea. Now everyone is quick to throw Reyes under the bus. The other day, there was a trend on Twitter that was #NegativeMetsHeadlines. One was: “Mets throw first no-hitter, lose perfect game in 3rd.” It’s that type of shit that sells newspapers folks and causes all this infighting! ENOUGH!
Look, I will freely admit, some of my favorite players of all time in baseball were not Mets. To this day, my hero is Cal Ripken Jr. Currently, I am in love with Matt Kemp and Ryan Braun. Yeah, I said it, the guy who is in battle for the batting title with my own Jose Reyes (who is my favorite Met, as I’ve illustrated several times). Ryan Braun is a legit MVP candidate. If his team makes it to the World Series (which I hope, if only to knock out the Phillies), I’ll root for him and hope he does well. I’m sure the “batting title” means very little to him at this point compared to a ring and an MVP award. This is just my personal feeling.
In conclusion, I get why Mets fans are just so angsty and so angry. For over five years, we’ve been sitting in our seats, waiting for that moment we want to leap out our seats to celebrate something. It hasn’t happened. So what if Reyes wins a batting title and he bunted his last at bat to get to that point? Does it matter? Because in a few years, when we look at the batting title champion wall in the Mets Hall of Fame and Museum, we’d have probably forgotten about how he got there in the first place.