It is highly unlikely that we will see Jose Reyes back in the lineup for the Mets this season. That fact didn’t stop the normally jovial shortstop from popping off to the media on Tuesday before the club’s game vs. Florida. Reyes was back at Citi Field to take part in the Mets 2009 team photo (that one should be a real keepsake) and held court with the media after the festivities. Jose was not happy about some of the criticism that has been floating around that he hasn’t worked hard enough in his rehab and really didn’t want to return this season.
Reyes did not specifically call anyone out but he did not mince his words either. It was as serious and angry a set of words as I’ve heard Jose purvey. Take a look.
“I don’t know what kind of people say that,” he said. “I want to be here with my teammates every day. Before this happened, nobody said nothing. What I do on the field, people see. They see I like the game. There should be no doubt in anybody’s mind that I want to come back to play.”
I have been critical of Reyes in this space in the past, but my criticism was mainly connected with not knowing what the he’ll was actually wrong with his leg. Well we finally found out a few weeks back that he was suffering from a torn hamstring tendon, which was originally a strained hammy but was exacerbated during a rehab stint in Florida.
The criticism is not all that surprising considering some of the rumors that have been floating around regarding Reyes’ off-the-field antics. In fact one might argue that some of his on-the-field behavior would lead people to surmise that he wasn’t taking his rehab efforts seriously enough. I don’t really buy it though. This guy lives to play baseball and usually does it with a smile. It must be killing him to have witnessed his squad struggle so mightily with him out of the lineup. Carlos Beltran might be the Mets most valuable player, but this guy is the firecracker that gets their offense revved up. They simply cannot be a successful run-producing club without him.
The only thing left to hope for now is that a winter full of rest and rehab and NO DAMN World Baseball Classic to worry about will do his hamstring good and he’ll be back stirring the pot again come next April.