Wednesday, September 28, 2011
2011 NY Mets Game 162: Show Jose The Love
Last night I was fortunate enough to be at the game with my family, and what we saw was truly amazing, and not in only one way, but in many ways.
On the negative side, it was amazing that Terry Collins still is prone to go to Ryota Igarashi and Bobby Parnell in big situations, only to have both pitchers implode. TC has to realize that these two pitchers cannot be counted on. They prove time and time again to be failures in big situations.
It was amazing that last night was the second to last game that there were more vendors at the stadium than fans. I know the official attendance was 30,027 - but having been there, there weren't more than 15,000 people there. This is sad. It was game #161, and although the Mets are not in contention, this is our team. Where's the love?
On the positive side, Jose Reyes was amazing last night. Many will look to his two bombs, which were amazing, but what will probably be overlooked was the amazing fielding play he made late in the game by diving to his left, making the stop, and launching a laser to Evans to get the final out. That play alone save a run.
While on the subject of Jose, I have this empty feeling in the pit of my stomach that today might be the last game Jose plays as a Met. There have been many in the blogosphere who believe that the Mets shouldn't waste years or money on the electric shortstop. I couldn't disagree more, and have voluntarily offered my opinion.
This is my 39th year following this team. I have seen some greats: Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Jerry Grote, Jon Matlack, Keith Hernandez, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, Gary Carter, Mookie Wilson, Edgardo Alfonzo, Jon Olerud, Robin Ventura, Mike Piazza, etc. Mookie might very well be the most beloved Mets player, and ranks among my all time favorites (but there is no one who can replace Grote as #1, Hernandez in fire and leadership, Mookie in hustle, and Alfonzo in class), but there has been no one I have seen don a Mets uniform that is more electric and fun to watch (on TV and in person) than Jose.
Reyes still plays the game with the passion I wish today's youth had (but don't) while playing little league; he truly loves playing, and that excitement not only translates into his play, but his demeanor on the field. He creates an excitement and a buzz that I have never seen. The closest I can compare to him is Mookie, but Reyes has that buzz that Mookie didn't have. He can change a game with his bat (occasional long ball), his legs (gotta love those triples), his glove (see last night's game?), and his base running ability (remember how he forced Armando Benitez into balking twice?).
Today might very well be Jose Reyes' last game as a NY Met. I pray that it isn't, but if it is, it would be nice if the fans made Jose's decision this off season a little easier; easier to remain with the Mets. Send Jose into the off-season and free agency with love. It has taken the Mets 50 years to have such a player, and another one isn't right around the corner.
Though few fans showed at the stadium last night, the place erupted when Reyes hit his two moon shots, as well as when he made that spectacular play in the field. His second home run interrupted Tejada's AB because the fans wouldn't sit down until Jose came out for a curtain call, which he obliged.
Memo to all Mets fans: Embrace what we have. If the Mets allow him to get away, you might not ever see such an enigmatic, electric, exciting player in your lifetime. Jose is that special, and although I pray today isn't his last game as a Met, but if it is, he will be sorely missed.
Last night I attended the game with my wife (metsfanbymarriage), my two boys (metsfan97, metsfan99), my daughter (metsfan03), metsfan99's friend, metsfanwannabe, and my brother-in-law, metsfanfromLA, and although the Mets lost, I was left with a memory I will never forget...a great game from our shortstop. Reyes is a possibility for MVP and is a front runner for the batting crown, which no Met has ever won. It would be a shame if he is not here after today to build upon this great year he has had...as a Met.
Don't wait til tomorrow...show Jose the love.
Please Stay Jose!