Jun 10, 2016

All Time Mets Triples Leader: Jose Reyes (Part Two: 2007-2013)

In 2007 Reyes started out April by hitting .356, with eleven multi hit games.

On April 4th he hit his first HR of the year, driving in three runs in the Mets 10-0 win at St. Louis. The next day he drove in four runs, with three hits in an 11-1 Mets win in Atlanta over the Braves. He remained over the .300 mark until the end of August. Early on, he seemed to be playing very lax & struggled a bit.

He was benched for not hustling enough, by his manager Willie Randolph. Reyes seemed to respond, turning it around quickly. On July 12th he set a franchise record, hitting his ninth career lead off HR, it came against the Cincinnati Reds, Bronson Arroyo.

Later that week, Reyes played in another All Star team, where he got three hits & scored a run in the 5-4, AL victory at San Francisco's AT&T Park. In August he became the first New York player in history to steal 50 or more bases in three straight seasons. He also set a team record by stealing at least one base in four straight games.

On August 22nd, he stole three bases in a loss to the Padres at Shea Stadium. That gave him a total of 67 bases, passing Roger Cedeno in setting the Mets single season mark. The Mets blew a big lead in the division at the end of the season, and it came down to the final days.

In the next to last game of the season, the Mets crushed the Marlins 13-0, behind John Maine's near no hitter. Jose got into a bench clearing brawl with Marlins catcher Miguel Olivo. It happened during a Florida pitching change with Jose on third.

Apparently the Marlins were unhappy with Reyes dancing around on the base paths, disturbing the pitcher. Reyes & Olivo were bantering back & forth, when the catcher charged down to third base. The benches cleared, as even 63 year old Mets coach; Sandy Alomar, got into things protecting Reyes. It was all the Shea Faithful needed, as they chanted “Jose Jose Jose” louder than ever.

The Mets ended up losing to Florida on the last day, missing out on a playoff berth. Reyes slump was big part of the teams decline. He only hit .205 down the pennant stretch, as his average fell twenty points in the final month.

The fans as well as organization & the media expected more from him. He felt the pressure, as everyone got on him as he was criticized for his theatrics and loose style of play.

He did finish off the year, with his third straight season of 190 plus hits- 191 (fifth in the league) & had 131 singles (second in the NL) . Reyes led the league in stolen bases for the third & final time with 78, also getting caught a league leading 15. He had career highs in doubles (36) & walks (77) while batting .280 with 12 HRs 12 triples (second in the NL) 119 runs scored (4thin the NL) a .357 on base % & 57 RBIs.

Before the start of the 2008 season, he spoke out, saying he was going to cut back on the dancing & fancy handshakes, to focus more on his play on the field. He struggled & his team mates coaxed him to go back to being himself.

Drama: After making an error in an inter league subway series game, he threw his glove to the ground in anger. Mets broadcaster; Keith Hernandez said on the air, he needed to act like a man & not be babied any more. Reyes took offense & confronted Hernandez on team flight. Hernandez said he was just doing his job & that Reyes should do his. The two almost got into a fist fight but were broken up by team mates.

That season he broke two more Mets All time records; on July 20th, he hit his 63rd career Mets triple, passing Mookie Wilson’s old mark. On September 10th, he stole two bases in a 13-10 win over the Washington Nationals.

That put him ahead of Wilson, as the Mets all time stolen base leader. He also became only the second Met in history to break the 200 hit mark, the first was Lance Johnson in 1996.

Reyes finished the year leading the league in hits (204) triples (19- setting another Mets mark) at bats (688) & caught stealing (15). He was second in stolen base (56) batting .296 with 16 HRs 68 RBIs & a career high 37 doubles.

The Mets replaced the “Professor Reyes” segments between innings at Shea that season with david Wright’s “Do the Wright Thing” & John Maine’s “Maine Street USA”.

On September 27th, the Mets kept their playoff hopes alive; as Johan Santana tossed a three hit shutout against the Florida Marlins, striking out nine. In the 1st inning Reyes led off with a single, stole second & eventually scored on a Carlos Delgado sac fly. It was one of two runs in the 2-0 win.

The next day the Mets lost 4-2, on the last day of the season, as Reyes went 0-4. It was also the last game ever played at Shea Stadium.

In 2009 Jose began the year batting .284 through the first month. On April 18th he drove in the only run of a Johan Santana 1-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. But all went downhill in early May, when Reyes went down with a hamstring injury. In June while he was rehabbing, an MRI showed a tear which put him out until September. He suffered another injury and was finished for the year. He hit .279 with 11 steals in 36 games played.

In Spring Training of 2010 he was diagnosed with an over active thyroid. His levels returned to normal in late March & he was placed on the DL.

He missed the first four games of the season, returning on April 10TH, getting his first hit in a 4-3 loss to the Nationals. On April 17th, in a long twenty inning game in St. Louis, Reyes scored the winning run in the top of the 20th on a sac fly, scoring Angel Pagan.

After batting just .226 through his first 13 games, he found himself in the number three spot in the batting order. At the time Carlos Beltran, the usual number three man was out with injury. The third spot was a place Reyes wasn’t comfortable with in the lineup. It was a wrong move by manager Jerry Manuel & Reyes was back in the leadoff spot a month later.

At the end of May he drove in runs in six of seven games, which included a sweep of the Phillies at Citi Field. On May 25th, he got his 1000th career hit off the Phillies Jamie Moyer.

On June 8th, he hit a 7th inning HR that was originally called a double, but after further review was called a HR. Ike Davis won the game with a walk off 11th inning HR to beat the San Diego Padres 2-1. He was elected to play in the All Star game but did not play due to a calf injury. He still attended the game, sitting in the crowd with his family.

In August he got his average up to .287 & then missed two more weeks of action with another injury. He finished up the year at .282 with 29 doubles 10 triples 30 stolen bases 11 HRs 54 RBIs & 83 runs scored, posting a .321 on base %. The Mets finished fourth at 79-83 & Jerry Manuel was let go as manager, getting replaced by Terry Collins.

Before the 2011 season the rumors swirled about Reyes being traded away in the final year of his contract. First new Mets GM Sandy Alderson said Reyes wasn’t his type of player.

Then owner Fred Wilpon chimed in to make some negative comments about his top players; David Wright, Carlos Beltran & Reyes. Wilpon said that Reyes wants the type of money Carl Crawford got with Boston, but he won’t get it.

Through all the controversies, Reyes went out & was the first Met in team history to win a batting title. He began the year with a thirteen game hitting streak in early April, having eleven multi hit games. In April, he scored at least one run in sixteen different games, as well as stealing at least a base in seven games. In May he had 15 multiple hit games, raising his average to .335 with a .382 on base % at the end of the month.

In the final eight games of May, Reyes had seven multiple hit games, with 17 overall hits & ten runs scored. He then took a leave of absence for a death in the family. He returned to continue a 12 game hit streak. On June 4th he hit a bases clearing triple, leading the team to a 5-0 win over the Atlanta Braves.

On the next road trip, he hit two HRs in the three game series at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park. He continued the road trip driving in runs in the next two games in Atlanta as well. Reyes was batting .350 by the All Star break but although elected to the team, missed the Midsummer classic, as he was on the DL.

He missed two weeks of action in July & another injury had him miss three weeks in August. Although there were trade rumors all season for him to get sent to a contending team, no deal was made He returned to go on another hit streak (12 games) in early September.

Reyes was in the running for the batting title on the last day of the season. The Mets were 76-85 in fourth place, 25 games out, but a Wednesday afternoon crowd of 28,000, came out to watch Reyes be the first Met in history to win a batting title.

The Mets took on the Cincinnati Reds & in his first at bat Reyes singled with a bunt base hit down the third base line. He ran to first base & then walked off the field, taking himself out of the game. The move did not sit well with the media or the fans. This came on the 70th anniversary of Ted Williams' refusal sit out a doubleheader on the last day of the 1941 season, putting his .400 batting average at risk. Williams went 6-for-8 raising his average to .406.

Reyes did become the first Met in history to win a batting title; batting .337, but his days in New York were over, ending on a sour note. Also Reyes played in just 126 games, the fewest ever for a batting champion.

He led the league in triples (16) for the fourth time in his career. He scored 101 runs (5th in the NL) had 181 hits (8th in the league), 31 doubles with 7 HRs 44 RBIs, a career high .384 on base % & 39 stolen bases (6th in the NL).

In December 2011 he signed a six year deal with the Florida Marlins. Jose Reyes was one of the most exciting players the Mets have ever had & one day will be in the team’s Hall of Fame. He is the Mets All Time Leader in stolen bases (370) runs scored (735) & triples (99). He has 1300 hits (second on the Mets All Time list) with 81 HRs, 222 doubles (third on Mets All Time List) 333 walks, 423 RBIs (11th on All Time Mets list) & a .341 on base %.

He has played the second most games at short stop behind Bud Harrelson & played an overall 1050 games in a Mets uniform (10th on the Mets All Time list).

Reyes & David Wright were Mets team mates for nine years, and have played together longer than almost any other Met players in history .

In 2012 Reyes got the first Marlins base hit, in the team’s new ballpark in Miami. It came in 7th inning breaking up St. Louis Cardinal Pitcher Kyle Lohse’s no hitter. On April 24th he returned to New York, as the Marlins came to Citi Field, receiving mixed reviews. He went hitless against Johan Santana & had just one hit in the three game Mets sweep.

He played 160 games for the newly named Miami Marlins, leading the league in plate appearances (716) & double plays turned at short (105). He was second in errors (18) games (160) assists (419) & put outs (226). Overall he hit .287 with 12 triples 37 doubles 11 HRs 57 RBIs 40 stolen bases & a .347 on base %.

The Marlins disappointed & finished fifth (69-93), although they did draw 2.2 million fans to their new ball park in Miami. On November 19, 2012, Reyes was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays along with Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck, and Emilio Bonifacio, in exchange for Jeff Mathis, Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Álvarez, Yunel Escobar, Jake Marisnick, Anthony DeSclafani and Justin Nicol. 

After going hitless in his first game as a Blue Jay, Reyes went on a nine game hit streak batting .395.

On April 13th, he slid into second base in a game against the Kansas City Royals & heard a pop in his ankle. He had to be carted off the field & missed two months of action. He returned o bat .296 on the year with 15 stolen bases, 10 HRs 20 doubles, no triples, 58 runs scored & a .353 on base %. 

In 2014 he played on Opening Day going 0-1 then missed the first three weeks of the season. He went on to bat .287 in 143 games with 9 HRs & 51 RBIs. In 2015 Reyes career continued to wind down after 69 games with the Blue Jays (batting .285) he was shipped off to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for Troy Tulowitski who was coming to the end of a contract. 

The Jays knew Tulo was the better player for them to go the post season with & for the future. Reyes hit .259 in 47 games in Colorado.

Drama: In the off season Reyes was charged with domestic violence, as his wife accused him of grabbing her throat & tossing her through a glass sliding door in Hawaii. MLD suspended him through May 31st for a total of 59 days. He did not participate in Spring Training & began working out  with the club in late May. His place on the team is questionable since rookie Trevor Story has been doing a fine job in his absence.

Quotes: “It’s good to be on the field and put that stuff behind me. I’m sorry. I made a mistake and will stand here like a man. I just have to try to be a better man, a better husband.”

Family: Reyes & his wife Katharine have three daughters. In his days playing with the Mets, he lived in Manhasset Long island.

He is a reggaeton musician who owns his own record label.

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