NL Batting Title: Jose Reyes Takes Easy Way out to Take the Batting Crown

Mike MoraitisAnalyst ISeptember 28, 2011

Jose Reyes' cheap bunt single and early exit may have won him the NL Batting title.
Jose Reyes' cheap bunt single and early exit may have won him the NL Batting title.Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Congratulations to Jose Reyes on a great season, the best of his career. He will finish the season with a .337 average and may slightly top Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers for the NL batting crown. The way he won the batting title is a different story.

After a lead off bunt single in the first inning for the Mets' shortstop, Reyes asked manager Terry Collins out of the game in order to preserve his league-leading average. It was a move that  Collins ultimately didn't support, but did anyway.

So what's the big deal?
It's an ugly finish to an otherwise great season for Reyes. The fact is, Reyes won his batting title the wrong way and should have played through his last game of the season. It's a move that will leave a bad taste in the mouth of baseball fans as a whole.
Not to mention, the slap in the face it is to Mets fans who came out to Citi Field today to see their favorite team and its best player. This could be Reyes' last game as a Met, and this is a disappointing ending to what was a disappointing tenure with the Mets. It further proves Reyes' selfishness, something that is a growing problem among professional sports' biggest stars.
Now, Reyes ends the season and will almost certainly win the NL batting title. Braun must go 3-for-4 to pass Reyes, and the cheapness of Reyes' finish will have fans around baseball cheering for the Brewers' outfielder to get it done. Myself included.

Reyes' move to end his season is a far cry from what Ted Williams did 70 years ago today, when he finished the 1941 season with a .406 batting average, a record which stands to this day.

Williams had a doubleheader the last game of the year and had an average slightly above .400.  Williams could have taken the weasel Reyes way out and sit for those to games in order to maintain his average, but instead played both games, going 6-for-8 and actually increasing his record average in the process.

That's the way Reyes should have done it, and in doing so, would have made his batting crown that much more memorable. Ask anyone who knows about Williams' record season in 1941, and most will not only remember Williams' .406 average, but they will remember how he didn't take himself out of those last two games.

Reyes proves that they don't make 'em like Ted Williams anymore.

If Reyes had any pride and confidence in his ability, he would have played the game out and finished the season the right way. He owed it to not only the integrity of the game, but to Mets' fans as well. After a stunt like this, I can't imagine there are many Mets' fans out there who want a selfish player like Reyes on their team next year.