Best Met - 2008
In a June game against the Angels, Jos? Reyes came up lame trying to run out a grounder. When recently installed manager Jerry Manuel took his young star out of the game as a precautionary measure, Reyes threw his helmet in disgust before storming off to the Mets? locker room. Willie Randolph might have put up with such a tantrum, but not the avuncular Manuel: An inning later, Reyes was back on the Mets bench apologizing to his skipper and his teammates. At that point, so the story goes, Reyes?s season turned around. But despite that talk-radio narrative, Reyes was actually consistently great the entire year. His statistics at the time he threw his helmet were on par with the huge offensive numbers he put up for all of 2008. But his biggest accomplishment in 2008 may be that he didn?t give his critics too much to talk about. Much was made of the fact that as the Mets collapsed at the end of the 2007 season, it was a clowning Reyes who had motivated the Marlins to sweep the Mets out of the playoffs. Don?t get us started on this year?s collapse (we?re looking at you, pretty-boy David Wright), but at least the only fodder Reyes provided for the sportswriters and talk-show nitwits was his solid defense and huge offensive output.