The Miami Marlins and the NL batting champion, Jose Reyes, have agreed to terms on a six-year, $106 million deal. In 2011, the 28-year old shortstop won the batting title with a .337 average and finished the season with an .877 on-base plus slugging percentage. For the fourth time in his career, he led the league in triples, with 16. In nine years, all with the Mets, he hit .292 with 370 steals and 740 runs scored.
Good for the MMarlin’s.
They have a new ballpark, a new closer in Heath Bell, a new shortstop in Jose Reyes, a new third baseman as incumbent shortstop Hanley Ramirez will move to third, and possibly a new first baseman as rumors about Albert Pujols are not dissipating.
Bad for the MMets.
The Madoff Mets have …. They have …. Uh, I’m thinking. They have the embarrassment of not getting any prospects in a trade for Reyes, not getting the chance to make an offer for Reyes, and not having any hope for respectability in the near future. MMets GM Sandy Alderson decided not to trade Reyes at the trade deadline last this summer because he believed that the Mets could sign Reyes. In theory, the Mets probably thought the hamstring issues that Reyes has had over the past couple of years might scare off potential suitors. If they actually thought that was the case. They were wrong.
Then again aren’t the MMets (in this case the “Miserable Mets”) wrong most of the times these days?
They’re wrong if they think their fans are going to show up and see this team play in 2011 after they have lost one of the most exciting players in the game today. Andrew Keh in today’s NY Times quotes Doug Glanville an analyst for ESPN, “From watching him this year, I would say he was the No. 1 catalyst in baseball. You put him out there to start a game and he would be on third base the next time you looked up. I don’t know if there was anyone in the league close to him in terms of providing that spark.”
Keh also points out that since 1901, there have been 82 players who have made at least 3,000 plate appearances in their first nine seasons, the number Reyes has made, while playing over three-quarters of their games at shortstop. Of those players, only 12 had higher averages in their first nine years than Reyes’s career mark of .292. Only two had more stolen bases than Reyes, who has 370. Only one player, Arky Vaughan, had more triples than Reyes’s 99.
Adam Rubin of ESPNNY.com quotes Alderson, “Bernie Madoff and his specter are always referenced in these situations,” Alderson said. “I don’t really think Madoff has that much to do with it. But when a team loses $70 million irrespective of Bernie Madoff or anyone else, that’s probably a bigger factor in our approach to this season and the next couple than anything else.”
This is the team that was wrong with Luis Castillo, Bobby Bonilla, Oliver Perez, Pedro Martinez and Jason Bay to name a few. and this team won’t be in the right for awhile because of Bernie Madoff, Omar Minaya and, as Rubin points, Bud Selig,
The commissioner forced out Frank McCourt with the Los Angeles Dodgers, yet he has given the (the Mets’ owners) Wilpons a lifeline, extending them credit with no firm date to repay and allowing the sale of small ownership shares in the form of certificate of deposits. If Selig stops that, a full sale is forced.
Reyes missed 191 games over the past three seasons because of leg issues. When you are a ballplayer that is dependent on speed a long-term contract carries big risks. So does the pressure of living up to a contract of this magnitude, just as Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth who both failed so miserably in 2011. But the Mets fans deserved a better effort on Reyes from their team because right now the 77-win 2011 Mets look like a champion team compared to what the 2012 Mets look like.
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is a huge Mets fan and he wanted the Mets to keep Reyes so badly he bought a dog and named him after Jose. This way, the Seinfeld family can still have a Jose Reyes around. A couple of weeks ago, when he was co-hosting “Live! With Kelly” with Kelly Ripa, Seinfeld introduced his dog,
View the video: https://billy-ball.com/2011/12/jose-reyes-leave-the-mmets-to-joins-the-mmarlins/
So now Seinfeld has two dogs: a puppy named “Jose” and a team named “the Mets.”