Apr 25, 2012; Flushing, NY, USA; Miami Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes (7) gets a single in the 8th inning and reacts at 1st base against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/The Star-Ledger via US PRESSWIRE

Jose Reyes: Requiem for a Divisional Rival

About a year ago, Mets fans everywhere mourned their shortstop, Jose Reyes, leaving for the Miami Marlins. Some were mad, some were glad, and some were just plain sad. It burned that he went to a divisional rival, that we would have to play the man and the talent 19 times a year, his speedness sliding into 3rd, making whatever hand sign he’s incorporated now. For me, however, once the initial burn went away and I sent myself on a Mets shopping spree,  I began appreciating the new narrative of Jose Reyes. Once the 2012 baseball season commenced, I 100% felt that Jose Reyes in the role of Divisional Rival (and the “revamped” Marlins, no less) was cast appropriately. While I, of course, knew and expected a trade to occur, I didn’t see it coming this early after he lasted the whole year. And so, I mourn the loss of a Jose Reyes worthy of rooting against.

I believe my response to Jose leaving is firmly based in the fact my full-fledged Met fandom began after his rise to the Major Leagues. I converted from Yankee fandom at the end of 2004, and though I paid enough attention to the Mets to know about his early injury troubles, Kaz Matsui and all that jazz, I wasn’t around enough to watch the prospect get hyped and blossom the way a fan watches a prospect get hyped and blossom. I could have never mourned for the Metropolitan Jose the way most of you could, did and still do.

When I first saw the Miami Marlins, I thought the uniform was hideous. It has grown on me since, in some ways (I think they use their M logo too much. It’s on their hat, on their sleeve AND starting “Miami” across their chest. Take it out of the “Miami” and the uni will be better…but I digress.) It is a much more definable aesthetic identity than the last uniform of the Florida Marlins (and more than in their entire uniform history, though the teal was pretty definable.) Jose Reyes’ identity, combined with the identity of Miami and the new Marlins, seemed to work well together (it is funny how a club run so unprofessionally would have a hair-length policy.)

I appreciated that marriage, and I appreciated its relationship to the Mets.

Alas, it is no more. I swore before the 6 years was up he would be traded to the Yanks. Now, that is as far away from occurring as you could imagine with Reyes on his way to an AL East rival (unless the commissioner squashes it, which would be hysterical.) While it is fun that I can root for him once more, it only took a year for me to grow attached to how he went from all-time favorite to all-time foe.

A silly thing, I know.

But how much fun was it when Kirk robbed him of a triple in his first at bat against us at Citi?

Or when he pouted off the field after Ruben walked off to sweep them again?

Or how he batted 2 something against us? (Yes, the numbers didn’t make him an all-time foe like Stargell or Chipper, but combined with the fact he was a homegrown Met, his Marlin identity immediately made him feel like an all-time foe. )

Glad to have you back in the all-time favorite category, Jose.

I will miss you, however, in your divisional rival role.

Though you knew what you were getting into, I’m sorry the Marlins are so dysfunctional that they screwed you.

Keep Rockin ‘N Rollin’, especially against the Yanks. (Blue Jays’ uniform aesthetics are back to normal, and MUCH BETTER than the Miami Marlins.)

Maybe Toronto will be us Met fans’ American League team….

Anyway, what do you guys think? Anybody else mourning the loss of Jose Reyes as a divisional rival?

Or am I THAT crazy?

Thanks for reading! You can read Sam Maxwell’s personal Mets Blog here.

Tags: 2012 Miami Marlins 2012 New York Mets Divisional Rival Florida Marlins Jose Reyes National League East New York Yankees Toronto Blue Jays

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