By now the refrain is well rehearsed. In 50 years, no New York Mets pitcher has ever pitched a no-hitter. No New York Mets batter has ever won a batting title.
Well tonight, we can eliminate one part of this song, thanks to Jose Reyes. Perhaps in his last game in a Met uniform, Reyes put down a bunt for a hit in his first at-bat and then left the game. That put the pressure on Ryan Braun to try to go 3-for-4 or better to win the title. When Braun started his game by going hitless in his first three at-bats, it was clear that Reyes had won the title.
Some commentators have an issue with how Reyes left the game after his hit, but I do not. Reyes had three hits in each of the first two games of the series when the pressure was on, so he certainly proved himself a worthy titlist.
Tonight Mets fans can celebrate their first batting title, but are saddened with the knowledge that Reyes will most likely be with a different team next year. It is hard to see how the Mets' financial situation will enable them to re-sign Reyes to the kind of contract that he has earned.
So to Jose, we say thank you for the exciting play that you have brought to the Mets. There were the four years from 2005 to 2008 where you averaged more than 60 steals per season. But your Mets legacy will always be the "Jose triple." You smack a ball into an outfield gap, jump out of the box towards first, round second, slide into third and then pop up with your characteristic hand clap and smile. Watching you run out a triple became one of the most exciting plays in the game.
Good luck, Jose. We just hope if you have to leave, you end up in the American League, and anywhere but with the Yankees.