New York Mets: Give Jose Reyes a Break and Respect His Great Season

Nick Carlo@@carlo2612Analyst IISeptember 30, 2011

Willie Harris leading Jose Reyes back onto the field after the game.
Willie Harris leading Jose Reyes back onto the field after the game.Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The title of this article is very blunt, but that is exactly how I feel about this whole silly Jose Reyes situation.  If you haven't already heard, Reyes was playing the last game of the season, and possibly his last game as a Met on Wednesday.  He was in the thick of a NL batting race with Milwaukee Brewers right fielder, Ryan Braun.  Reyes laid down a bunt in his first at bat in the first inning, and he beat the bunt out to get a hit, and he raised his batting average to an impressive .337.

Braun would eventually go 0-4 in his game that night, which ensured that Reyes is the 2011 NL batting champion.

Reyes would then make his own decision to leave the game and call it a season.  This decision was highly criticized and Mets fans at the stadium booed the decision (not Jose Reyes).  This could have possibly been Reyes' last game as a Met, and it's no secret that fans were there to see him. Yet he decided to leave in the first inning, and call it a game.

That sounds pretty bad for Jose Reyes, right?  

It does, and that's the problem.  There are a countless amount of people out there that are criticizing Reyes decision when they don't even know the whole story.  I was watching First Report on ESPN2 yesterday and they were discussing this whole situation.  

They discussed it so poorly, that I changed the channel in disgust.  Their research was pathetic, and they didn't have the slightest clue of what the real situation was.

Here's the complete rundown; Jose Reyes came up to manager Terry Collins before the game, and asked him if he could be taken out of the game if he gets a hit in his first at bat.  Terry respected the decision, and he agreed with Reyes.  Terry stuck to his agreement, and took Reyes out after his first inning bunt single. 

 "I respect the game enough to know the people who came here came to see, Jose Reyes," Collins said in an article in the New York Post.  "I understand anybody being upset or being offended by it.  But when I now walk in that room and say something, they know I'll stand behind it.  And down the road that is going to mean a lot."

Reyes said "They have to understand what's going on.  They have to feel happy about it if I win the batting title.  I do that for the team, and the fans, too.

Reyes' decision might not have been the greatest, but it should certainly be respected.  You can't blame him for wanting to win his first batting title. It was the Mets' first batting title in history.  He played this whole season hard, and people are judging his season on two extra at-bats that he would have got.  That's just silly.  Jose had 537 at bats this season, just think about that.

Just because one of the all time greats, Ted Williams, famously insisted on playing the final game of the season with his .400 batting average on the line, that doesn't mean that every player should follow that.  That was Williams' decision, and this is Reyes' decision.

Another thing that people don't think of is that Wednesday's game was meaningless.  There were no playoff implications for the Mets.  They were eliminated a while ago, but if the Mets were indeed in a playoff race Wednesday, I can guarantee you that Reyes would have played the whole game, and try to help his team win.

Reyes also said that his teammates were telling him to just not play on Wednesday, but Reyes said, no.  He wanted to give the fans one last time to see him, and while it might not of been the best possible sendoff if he leaves, fans should know that he wanted to be there for us Wednesday.

Everybody might not know that Jose Reyes came back out to the field when he heard the fans cheering his name after the game.  He would come out from the clubhouse and wave to the fans.  That shows that he definitely cares about his fans, and the fans have to realize that Reyes also won this batting title for them.

Overall, Reyes had a special season, and it should definitely be appreciated.  People can't blame him for wanting to win a batting title, and they shouldn't.  Just put yourself in Reyes' shoes and think about it.  Reyes is a fantastic player, and an even better person who loves and respects all of his fans.  He totally deserved the batting title, and hopefully people will come to realize that.  Mets fans love you Jose, just know that.

Please stay, Jose.