Mancuso: Reyes Is Back Where He Belongs

Jose Reyes back where he belongs with the New York Mets and this may be the beginning of more moves GM Sandy Alderson pulls before the trading deadline to get the offense moving again. And this sounds so much like last season when injuries took their toll, and guys like Eric Campbell and John Mayberry Jr. were doing nothing in the middle of the batting order.

So Jose Reyes comes to the rescue, perhaps, but not the entire catalyst to getting the ship right. It’s a reunion that is a perfect fit even if Reyes is not the player he was back then in a Mets uniform.

There have been different teams via free agency and trades, injuries and that domestic violence image that will not go away. What returns is a team player, a smile in the clubhouse and an ability for manager Terry Collins to move a struggling Curtis Granderson out of the leadoff spot and Reyes the replacement.

And, though the speed is not the same, Reyes will get some time in the outfield and with the versatility of manning short, second, or third base. It’s a perfect fit for the Mets and a reunion for one of the most beloved Mets in their history.

The ultimate fan favorite, and still is, even though he vacated New York after a NL batting title season and opted to take the money where he was not a perfect fit in Miami with the once named Florida Marlins. Then it was Toronto, and Colorado, and the saga continued for Jose Reyes of not being that happy camper when he left New York.

But, Jose Reyes always sung the tune, “I left my heart in New York.” He still lives in the spacious house on the far end of Long Island. And most of his friends, associates and family are in New York. There was that overall sentiment from Reyes, ever since he left Citi Field in 2010, that he was not happy in Miami, or up in Toronto. And there was no doubt he was always content in New York. He heard the negativity about pulling himself out of the lineup that last day of the season at Citi Field.

He heard and read,leaving that game early was a ploy to assure that he would be a National League Batting champion, eventually leading to signing a $106 million deal with the Marlins.

And all that time, Reyes always had his heart in New York.

His journey back to Citi Field and a reunion with the fans begins Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn. Reyes will be in the lineup of the Cyclones at MCU park in Coney Island in the Class A League. Then there should be a quick jump to either Binghampton, or Las Vegas in the friendly hitting Triple-A PCL.

Or it could be sooner. The Mets and manager Terry Collins need a spark in the lineup, as they did last year at this time, though not in the caliber of Yoenis Cespedes and his acquisition to the Mets at the end of last July. Anything at this point, even a Jose Reyes, can help a Mets team that is last in baseball this month with 73 runs, and hitting .238, third to last in the NL.

He is 33-years of age now. That may not be the right direction for a Mets team looking for that return to the World Series in October. And there will be those expectations of doing what he did best, running, getting on base, and taking that extra base, something that was special when he first signed with the Mets as a youngster at 16 years of age.

Alderson, said Saturday when the return of Jose Reyes became official, with emphasis of the off-field issues:

“We were aware of the possible controversy this would generate. We’re also fully aware of the responsibility we sort of have to be leaders in this area of fighting domestic abuse. Jose was a member of the Mets organization for 12 years He was a solid citizen during all of that time. And so, if you think of it in those terms, us as a place where Jose grew up, almost as a surrogate family, we felt that he deserved a second chance. And that second chance was most appropriate with us.”

Alderson was the philosopher here, and there really was need to explain that. Jose Reyes has made the mistake and will cooperate with the counseling protocol that is a part of the MLB domestic violence procedures with players and personnel. There will be those skeptics about this reunion, and that is expected.

But one thing the Mets now have, that they have lacked, is this leadoff hitter or someone who can come off the bench to be that catalyst that has been absent the last six weeks.

Healthy and wise, and Jose Reyes provides that first of what is expected to be more moves made by the Mets GM. The long awaited reunion that was always possible is now reality and Reyes should be at Citi Field at some point during the Mets long 11-game homestand that starts next week prior to the All-Star break.

All-Star Jose Reyes? No for sure. But this once impact type of player is back where he belongs with the New York Mets.

Comment Rich Mancuso: [email protected] Mancuso Twitter@Ring786

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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