Firstly, if you live in the area and have not made your way out to watch some baseball in Brooklyn, do yourself a favor and make an entire Coney Island day out of it; ride the Cyclone, hit up the Wonder Wheel ferris wheel, grab a Nathan’s hot dog and fries, catch a freak show, then watch the Cyclones play baseball by the seashore.
I knew that there was no way I could pay attention to only one ballgame this evening, so I had my bluetooth headphones on as the live game got underway, the Mets, the Nats, Howie Rose and Wayne Randazzo in my ear.
I had left a little late on my bike from my East Flatbush abode, so I missed Jose Reyes‘s first at bat, but I was less concerned with his swing…I wanted to see him play third base.
Regarding the controversy surrounding Reyes and the signing, I will discuss that later in the post. Initially…some baseball.
The first thing I thought to myself looking out at Reyes in the field on the hot corner (while I listened to the Mets, with a 1-0 lead at the time, get out of a bases loaded no out jam…little did I know that would be the high point of the Mets’ night…) was that I couldn’t wait for him to get out of Brooklyn.
A few years ago, it was determined that turf would be better suited for playing baseball by the ocean, and the only dirt that exists is at home plate, with dark-dirt-colored turf infield. This is where it would be best for him to learn third base? With his injury history? I appreciate the preliminary re-introduction to the Mets fanbase in Brooklyn, but get him outta here.
He wasn’t really getting any opportunities at third other than during “around the wheel,” until a popup in front of the mound occurred. I saw Jose drop the ball, but besides him clearly being rusty, the weather was whipping around, the winds were crazy and we’re by the ocean. I thought of this more than the idea that Reyes couldn’t play third, because he could have easily dropped the same popup coming in from shortstop.
At some point, Reyes was up at the dish after the Renegades pitcher walked the number 9 hitter with two outs. Reyes took an inside fastball for a called third strike, a ball, having watched from right behind home plate, that may have been inside. Alas, it was the end of the inning.
Brooklyn is a Major League town. It always has been, it always will be. That’s one of the reasons I think the Mets and the Brooklyn-loving Wilpons should have just gone full measure and moved the Mets to Brooklyn when the whole stadium thing was being discussed early in this century.
They did not, however, and it’s still loads of fun having some form of professional baseball back in the Former City of Brooklyn. While the crowd is as Major League as it gets, the baseball reminds you this ain’t the big leagues.
Most of these players are either returning because they didn’t do enough for a promotion from last year or they’ve just been drafted. I saw balls missed that clearly should have been caught or gotten in front of unless your name is Daniel Murphy. It doesn’t take that long for them to remind you that this is short-season single A.
The Renegades unfortunately stormed ahead of the Cyclones 5-1, and by the seventh inning, the rain was coming down, with the threat of heavier rain to come. Reyes had been taken out, and the Mets’ 4-0 lead was now about a 7-4 deficit. I said to myself, “I think it’s time to get ahead of the weather.” It was probably after I sang Take Me Out to the Ballgame that I decided to bike back home.
The Mets kept giving up runs, and by the time I got home, it took me another half-hour to check back in on the Cyclones game. Sure enough, they ended up tying the game in the ninth and winning in the bottom of the 10th. And that’s why I should have listened to my rule to never leave a baseball game early, ’cause you never know what you’re going to see.
As for Reyes, it’s nice to see an old friend back. I know he won’t be the player he formerly was, but he knows and we know he should have never been anything but a Met. Who knows how the last few years would have gone had they worked out a deal under Sandy Alderson’s parameters, but it’s fitting that everything has unfolded this way to allow for a reunion.
Regarding the domestic violence incident, clearly, he should have never put his hands violently on his wife. I don’t believe, however, that means Jose Reyes should be completely stripped of his humanity.
It seems Reyes, who made the wrong decision to leave his home for a Miami contract, then got traded to a potential playoff team in Toronto, then got traded to the second division in Colorado to help that potential playoff team become a definite one, found himself at a crossroads last offseason, and he did not handle it well.
It then becomes a personal and private matter that he and his family need to work out, and that doesn’t mean he should be shunned out of baseball, let alone this new chapter with the New York Mets.
I would have to think Jose Reyes has the best chance of becoming the best man he can be at this point in his life back in familiar territory. He may be rusty currently, but there is a possibility we have yet to see the best of Jose Reyes in a New York Mets uniform. He still has a championship to win with us after all.
Jose, Jose, Jose.
He’s back, baby.