Jose Reyes’ emotional remarks earlier this week were precipitated by Mets front office sources burying the shortstop with “negative impressions” claims NY Baseball Digest’s Howard Megdal, who despite acknowledging it might be prudent to shut Jose down for ’09, “my heart remembers how glorious it is to watch a baseball game when Jose Reyes is playing.”
This week, I had the opportunity to take in a Brewers-Cardinals game at Miller Park. Sitting 16 rows from the St. Louis dugout, I watched in awe as Albert Pujols emerged from the dugout to hit. Twice, he hit the ball over the wall. But more importantly, each time he strode toward the batters™ box, it was an event.
The same mixture of anticipation at what could be and wonder of what does happen is a crucial part of the enjoyment for any superstar player. When Jose Reyes gets into that box, a breathtaking triple, that speed around the bases the most joyful play in the sport, is possible in the next instant. Even a walk leads to the chess moves between Reyes and a pitcher, with the payoff of a stolen base soon to come.
So while I can™t rationally endorse the return of Jose Reyes, in a season full of far more moments of anxiety and disgust than fun, seeing Jose play for just a few games would be awfully pleasurable.
I have similar feelings about the possibility of seeing former minor league catcher Jeff Wilpon activated during the season’s final weekend. Why should Reyes be the only underachiever to risk serious injury during meaningless games?