Jerry Manuel has stated this week that he wants Jose Reyes to take on leadership responsibilities on the team so that the Mets have a network of leaders that already includes Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Johan Santana, and David Wright.
For the past 3 years, David Wright has been the de-facto captain of the team who plays with intensity every game, no matter how exhausted or beat up he is. He is quick to point out the expertise and experience of the veterans, rightfully so, and speaks for the team after every game whether they win or lose, if he is the hero, goat, or somewhere in the middle.
Jose Reyes is a force to be reckoned with, on the basepath especially, but the question is whether his teammates will see him as a leader, infield general, and whatever other responsibilities Jerry Manuel plans to give him this year and beyond. I do feel that he is being groomed to share captain responsibilities with David Wright like Keith Hernandez and Gary Carter did in 1986.
The past two years has shown that Jose does lose focus and can act silly. This is not a knock; he is 25 years old after all, and they are playing a game so having fun is part of the picture.
I feel that his teammates who have been with him may need to see a significant change in his attitude and the "smile, but hard to understand" way he speaks to the media before they will see him as a leader.