Playing a video acknowledgement for Jose Reyes is the right thing to do.
Yes, I know this breaks lock step from the other guys on the blog. It also goes against the grain with many fans. And the funny part? Once Tuesday night comes and goes, this will all be a moot point. But there’s a pretty strong argument to be made here that says any response to the news other than, “Oh, that’s nice” is probably an overreaction.
Let’s start with where the conversation has gone a little awry. There’s been talk about this being a “tribute” video. To me, that’s exceedingly misleading. Tributes happen when the player retires, the club makes it Jose Reyes Day, fans are given little rally towels with number 7 on them as they come in the park, and Reyes gets a framed jersey. Maybe even a plaque in the Mets Hall of Fame. To me, a 30 second highlight package with the tag, “Thank you, Jose” is a far cry from that.
Secondly, let’s remember who we’re dealing with here. This is the same player in his nine years with the franchise that was asked to change the way he ran, and switch to second base for an inferior fielder. He racked up franchise leads in stolen bases, runs scored and triples. He’s the only Met to win a batting title (unceremoniously or not), and he played very well in his one postseason. Regardless of who your ire is directed toward over his departure, there’s no question that Reyes’ time spent in Queens is a fairly noteworthy chapter in Mets history. At the very least, it’s probably worthy of a little hat tip and a thank you.
Plus, admit it: if the Mets play this any time between the 1st and 3rd innings, a good 60% of fans in attendance will probably be A) still on the Long Island Expressway, B) on line at Shake Shack, or C) in the bathroom. For all the hoopla, this thing could come and go without most of the people at the game taking any notice, no less fans watching at home.
Now, I’m not telling you to boo him, cheer him. Frankly, I’ll do neither. I’m not here to debate the merits of “an official” offer, or how much money is “enough.” All of those factors don’t change the reality that Ruben Tejada starts at short in Flushing nowadays, and Reyes doesn’t. But there’s nothing wrong with taking a very brief moment to give a nod to a player most of us grew to love. Even though he resides elsewhere now, I don’t see the harm in taking one final look back as we move forward.