The 2008 season is still a ways off, but Mets' All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes is ready to get serious.
“TCB” as Elvis termed it—takin' care of business.
This means no more celebrations, handshakes, and other qualified gyrations inside or outside the Mets' dugout.
Reyes, who was having a banner season early on last year, floundered down the stretch becoming the poster child for the Mets' historic collapse.
He's fully aware of how his troubles correlated with those of his club and is approaching his job in a more businesslike fashion.
"No more handshakes," Reyes told reporters yesterday. "People kept saying we got teams fired up when we did those, so now I want to focus more on baseball."
Reyes was elected to the All-Star team as the National League's starting shortstop after a flying start to the season but hit only .205 in September when the club needed him the most.
His troubles were viewed in direct contrast with the Mets' losing a seven game lead with 17 games to play.
To add more fuel to Reyes' fire is the glut of talented shortstops in the NL these days. It is almost a certainty that he will not be re-elected to the All-star team this year.
MVP Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies, Hanley Ramirez of the Marlins, Khalil Greene of the Padres, Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies, JJ Hardy of the Brewes, Rafael Furcal of the Dodgers, and Stephen Drew of the Diamondbacks are all viable candidates to replace Reyes on the NL squad.
There is work to be done by the Mets' 25-year-old. He knows it. He's lived and hopefully he's learned.
"I just want to play baseball this year. I want to take care of business on the field."