Posted in Baseball Scorekeeping, Uncategorized

I really should be happier about Jose Reyes’ batting title

The 2011 Mets season is over. The final game was supposed to a chance to cheer for Jose Reyes as he tried to win the first National League batting title in franchise history.

Instead, it became the game where Reyes vanished in the first inning, Mike Baxter hit his first major league home run and Miguel Batista pitched his first shutout since 2006.

Reyes got a hit in his first at-bat to raise his average to .337, and then he was out of the game before most people realized what was happening. He wanted to protect his chance at winning the batting title.

“I know it’s kind of tough,” Reyes said, as reported by the New York Times. “I wanted to stay in the game. But they have to understand, too, what’s going on. They have to feel happy about it if I win the batting title. I do it for the team and for the fans, too.”

And it worked… Ryan Braun went 0-for-4 to finish the season at .332.

I guess I’m happy about it, but I’m glad I didn’t give in to a last-minute impulse to go to the game. I wanted Reyes to play nine, show faith in his abilities and let us have one last memory of his great season (and perhaps his Mets career.)

Now we have months of off-season speculation to endure, with people like Mike Francesa doing their best to make sure we don’t have much reason to hope.

Here’s one last scorecard:

4 thoughts on “I really should be happier about Jose Reyes’ batting title

  1. There was nothing to play for.
    The Mets were way out of it.
    Jose Reyes is always an injury risk.
    The batting title is the ONLY thing either the Mets or Reyes had left to salvage of 2011 season.
    Does anyone REALLY think he wouldn’t have been in there if the playoffs were on the line?
    It’s not about honor or integrity. Sitting to preserve something is NOT a new thing.
    And consider this: How many people flipping out over this would be flipping out if he had played the whole game and ended up losing the title because of it?

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    1. I never questioned Reyes’ honor or integrity. I never even said that he should have played 9 innings, just that I wanted him to. He was the first and he won’t be the last to come out of a game to preserve a batting average. It’s part of baseball.

      Still, the quick exit may be the last memory we have of Reyes as a Met – anybody that wants to feel disappointed about that has every right to.

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  2. Paul,

    As I was under the mindset that, if you’re available, you play out the game and let the chips fall where they may. As an aside, that Reyes played 126 games and Braun 150 is of no consequence as Reyes had enough PA to qualify and played when he was available.

    But, Reyes is one of those guys who are renowned for “leaving it on the field.” He always busted it out there and always seemed to make stuff happen. Sounds cliche-ish, but there was never any doubt that he was hustling out there and was team player.

    So, now, in an apparently very rare moment of selfishness, he took himself out of the game after his first AB leaving Braun to go 3-4 to beat him.

    But, my wife came up with an excellent point. She said, “What about Mark McGwire? When he was taking steroids, was he thinking of the team first or himself first?” The answer is, of course, himself, with only an ancillary benefit being that he helped his team. After all, big numbers translated into a fat contract whether or not the Cardinals won. She also added, correctly, that most professional athletes are selfish. Yes, they play for a team but, in the end, it’s their own performance, and not someone else’s, that’s going to put food on their table.

    So, if Reyes, who, among many selfish athletes, was beyond reproach and always hustled and always did the little and big things that made his team win (or, in the case of the hapless Mets, at least tried to), why shouldn’t he be allowed a moment of selfishness in a meaningless game so he could get something which a lot of players wished they could have–a batting title? After all, in yesterday’s game (which I went to), there was NOTHING else to play for.

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    1. You’re right – there was nothing else to play for. That’s why it was disappointing to have Reyes come out of the game before the tv people even had a chance to give Edinson Volquez’s stats.

      The early exit takes nothing away from Reyes’ batting title, but it certainly took away from my ability to enjoy it (even if I was only watching a time-shifted broadcast.)

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