José Reyes Got a Bum Rap


So, what’s the answer to the only question Mets fans really want to know right now? Will the Mets sign José Reyes?

Never mind that the way Reyes ended the season produced more sour press — unjustifiably — than almost anything else done by anyone on the Mets all season.

Is that really how you want to remember José? Is that how you want him to remember us?

The official answer to whether the Mets will re-sign Reyes is cloaked in impenetrable policy-speak.

Here’s what General Manager Sandy Alderson said at a press conference Thursday: “With or without José, we have a very small number of players and a large amount of money tied up in those players. Adding José would contribute to that same situation, and create less flexibility for us than we would like to have. That’s something we have to take into account.”

Translated into English, this means: “We plan on making a profit this year the way most corporations have been making profits for about the last 30 years — not by offering a good, saleable product but by cutting employees’ salaries. We already have TV contracts that will pretty much guarantee that we can break even no matter how bad the team is.”

José Reyes might be the best, all-around player in Mets history, and it was sad to see the way he went out Wednesday. He got a bunt single in his first and only time at-bat, and the next day sportswriters, talk show hosts, and bloggers went ballistic: “A bunt single!” I’ve got a question. When no body is on base in front of you what the hell difference does it make whether it’s a bunt or a line drive?

Anyway, he then was either taken out of the game or took himself out — I assume it was the latter because it’s unlikely Terry Collins would have pulled him if he wanted to stay in the game — so he could preserve his lead in the National League batting title.

C’mon, folks. I would have liked to see him play the whole game, too. But in a meaningless game (which the Mets won anyway) at a time of the year when several of the leading teams were playing meaningless games (meaningless for them, anyway) with Triple-A players, for which they charged fans major league prices to watch, can’t we cut Reyes a little slack here? Isn’t it more important that he was the first Met ever to win a batting title?