Earlier today, Mets SS Jose Reyes talked for roughly one hour with Mike Francesa on WFAN, which you can listen to at WFAN.com.
The following is a written recap of the discussion, during which Reyes talks about, among other things, his injury; his recovery; his goals for 2010; and his thoughts on Jerry Manuel; Willie Randolph; and the Phillies, who he believes do not like him.
Updated at 2:55 pm:
Reyes says he feels no pain, and will be ready by Opening Day.
He said this most recent injury is different from ones he suffered early in his career.
Reyes believes having surgery was the best decision he ever made.
Updated at 2:57 pm:
He said last season was ‘hard,’ because, ‘I’m the guy who loves this team and loves playing the game and being with my teammates.’ He said he did everything possible to be back on field.
Initially, Reyes thought he would only need one day off, when the team traveled to San Francisco; he said he got a cortisone shot in Los Angeles, who said he would be able to play not longer after.
Reyes said he is aware of this report in the New York Times, accusing his Canadian doctor of being involved in HGH. According to Reyes, he only received plasma treatment from the accused doctor, ‘that is all,’ he did not receive any drugs, including HGH.
Updated at 3:00 pm:
Reyes said, ‘I love Jerry Manuel, he’s a great guy, when you do something wrong he comes to you and explains to you what you did.’
He seemed genuinely shocked at rumors that he did not get along with Willie Randolph, who Reyes referred to as a ‘father figure, who only wanted the best for me.’ He said Randolph did ‘the right thing,’ when he pulled Reyes from a game for not running hard to first base in 2007. I was behind Willie 100 percent,” he concluded.
Updated at 3:08 pm:
Reyes is happy with how his career has progressed, saying, “I have good numbers for a shortstop,” but, “I can get better… I think sometimes I try to get too aggressive at home plate and I swing at too many bad pitches, but I’m getting better and better at that… I want to be more patient.”
He says he doesn’t worry about home runs. Instead, he said he tries to hit the ball in the gap, especially in Citi Field, where he feels he can hit 20 triples.
Reyes says every team in the big leagues does handshakes like he does with his teammates. He does it to keep the energy up with this teammates, adding, “I try to keep it fun.” He said he doesn’t do it to bother the other team, he does it for the Mets. He says he has no interest in changing who he is.
Updated at 3:17 pm:
He says Carlos Delgado had been the leader of the team the last few seasons.
Reyes said Jason Bay is a ‘good guy,’ and ‘a very good player.’
He said David Wright is a superstar, a ‘great guy,’ and a leader in the clubhouse. Reyes believes Wright will return to hitting 30 home runs next season.
“I love it,” he said, when asked about New York City. “You have to play right and play hard, day in and day out and if you do that they’re gonna love you.”
His best day on the Mets, he said, was when they clinched the NL East in 2006. His worst day was the final day of 2007.
Updated at 3:22 pm:
He said the Mets did a great job last season trying to get him back on the field. He, the team and their doctors never once thought he had a calf injury last season, he explained; it was the Dodgers doctor who diagnosed it as a calf injury, he said.
Reyes said at no point last season, during his rehab, did he feel he was able to get back on the field; the pain was too much; and, if he could have been back, he would have been back. He said he even tried to come back for the final three games of the season, but ended up hurting himself again.
Updated at 3:25 pm:
“When we lose I get angry,” he said. “I talk to nobody.”
Reyes said he is the hardest-working player on the team; he is at the ballpark at 2 pm, every day, working hard before every game.
Updated at 3:27 pm:
Right now, he says, his goal is to be healthy. He believes he can be better, and has yet to have the best season of his career. “I’m still young, and I’m still learning.”
He says he enjoys watching Hanley Ramirez, who is a very good friend of his; Dustin Pedroa, who he said plays hard; and Derek Jeter, saying, “I love the way he goes about his business.”
In the minors, he said he initially wanted to model his game after Jeter.
Reyes said he used to crush Jon Leiber, when asked to name a pitcher he always had success against; while it is very difficult to face A.J. Burnett, against whom he does not have a hit.
He said he loves to hit in Philadelphia’s Citizen’s Bank Park.
Updated at 3:40 pm:
Reyes did not like seeing the Phillies win a World Series in 2008. He doesn’t understand why the Phillies pick on him, and his antics, when Shane Victorino does the same thing. “They win the World Series, and they’re talking about us, they say, ‘They get Santana, and don’t even win.’ He acknowledged, with a huge smile on his face, that the Phillies do not like him.
He said he will be the same player, physically, that he was before last season’s hamstring issue.
“People don’t worry, I’ll be ready in Spring Training, 100 percent,” he said, when asked if he had a message for the team’s fans. “Stay calm,” he added, “We’ll be fine.”
The interview is over. To listen to the entire interview, keep checking WFAN.com.