One of my favorite Mets of all time, Jose Reyes, will be wearing this putrid Miami Marlins uniform when the 2012 MLB season gets underway. Jose Reyes and the New York Mets fans had a union. A partnership. Hell, a marriage. Now it's OVER and we're left to begrudgingly sign the divorce papers.
It's sad to see him go, but you can't be angry at him personally. If you were Jose Reyes...No, seriously, PRETEND you are Jose Reyes. You ride around in a gawdy white Mercedes while playing reggaeton at ridiculously high volumes and you play the same 8 songs over on repeat until you can sing each lyric to each song. Pretend that is you.
Wouldn't YOU want to leave this Mets organization and go to Miami to play in a new stadium with muchos mamacita's for the MOST moolah? Yes, if you were Jose Reyes, that's EXACTLY what you would do.
But, we are not Jose Reyes. NOT EVEN CLOSE. We are Mets fans and we just lost one of the most exhilarating players ever to don the Blue and Orange. Not only a guy that was a thrill to watch, but who added 6 wins more than the average shortstop, according to sabermetric stat Wins Above Replacement (WAR). No one will deny Reyes' impact in any measurable (BA, SB's, Triples) or immeasurable (heart, guts, energy) categories. You can can also add the "home grown" player effect. He had been with the team since 1999. It's like you planted a Jose Reyes seed in your garden, fed him, gave him water, and before you knew it, he sprouted out of the soil ripping triples and flashing you a Crestfully-clean smile.
The harsh reality of being a Mets fan is that times-are-a-changin'. The team doesn't have enough money to pay 100 million dollars to any one player. Let alone a 28 year old player who's success is predicated on youthful speed and athleticism. 6-year deals rarely work out for the organization. Let alone an organization that is owned by Bernie Madoff's best friend. Jose likely won't hit .337 again, even if he strings together an entire healthy season. There is also the two obvious facts that he's injury prone and getting older. Two facts that equal many trips to the DL according to the crystal ball of common-sense.
Whether you thought the Mets should have over payed him or not doesn't change anything. The Mets will have to get by without him.
NYSS Member and Reyes lover, @Pessimets_, tweeted that she hasn't "reached acceptance" about Jose's departure yet. For those Mets fans that are also big football fans or basketball fans, learning ghastly news like this doesn't puncture as deep because there are currently other teams to stress out about. After the Jets and Giants blow it. After the Rangers fizzle out at the end of season again. After the Knicks lack of depth causes them to lose in the 2nd round. We will begin to see the spring training light loom over the horizon. We will smell the grass, hear the pounding of the mitt, and be ready to see our dread-locked shortstop take the field. But he won't be there. Instead, Ruben Tejada will awkwardly run out and begin taking grounders in shoes too big to fill. Your 2012 Mets, everyone. You can rip the band-aid off now or remove it painfully slow. Either way, you'll always have that scar to remind you of what you once had.
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