I am going to piss off some of my Met fan brethren.
Jose Reyes of the Mets is one exciting baseball player. He does it all. Runs like a rabbit. Fields like one of those robotic vacuum cleaners. Hits for power. Sparks any rally anytime.
And I'm starting not to like him.
I had read on a variety of MLB message boards that Reyes is being viewed more and more with disdain by fans of opposing teams. Sure. Envy, you say. That's what I said. But you read on. You see the words "hot dog." "Bush league." "Asshole." I remember last Fall after the Mets lost to the Cardinals in Game 7 of the NLCS. In the St. Louis clubhouse, you heard the Redbirds mock-singing the Shea chant.
"Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose."
What the hell was behind that?
Now, I know.
Last Tuesday night, from my plasma perch 3000 miles away, I was thoroughly enjoying the Mets getting to the Giants' reliever Armando "I Blew the 2000 World Series" Benitez in the eleventh inning down a run. There's no better baseball pleasure than Benitez coming apart like a Walmart sweater. As a result of the baseline gyrations of Reyes, Fat Armando commits not one, but two balks. The tying run scores on the second one. Carlos Delgado follows up with a homer to right. Game over.
I was cringing a bit as I watched Reyes samba his way around the bases. He was like a monkey with a new organ to grind. But, once he got into the dugout, the antics didn't stop. He starts to make voodoo-like motions to the Giants. He gets his compatriots in broken English, Gomez and Gotay, to join in. The three of them together looked like the Andrews Sisters on a USO tour during WWII.
I was screaming at the set. "Somebody make them stop that!"
It was childish. It was unprofessional. And you know it didn't go unnoticed. The camera kept cutting back to Reyes and his two little cocoanuts. Even former Met pitcher and current announcer, Ron Darling, (who has become the only reason not to turn off the sound on SNY broadcasts) flinched a little in his commentary when he saw Reyes doing his Tito Puente imitation. I would have to liked to pigeon-hole him after the game to hear what he really thought. After all, the 1986 Mets might have been over-confident and a little arrogant. But, they did it quietly.
To me, as a Met fan, it was an embarrassing moment. We'll get no help here from General Manager Omar Minaya, who is not going to rest till he can negotiate contracts for all 25 roster spots in Spanish. Yep, Senor Randolph needs to take this kid aside and tell him what for in both English and Spanish---just to make doubly sure he gets it. All the great stats in the world will be tarnished by behavior like this. The Bad News Bears were more mature. There is an unspoken line of sportsmanship, and, apparently, Jose is regularly crossing it.
Because if he keeps it up, there's a 96 MPH fastball coming his way from someone somewhere. And, frankly, he deserves it.
Dinner last night: scrambled eggs and chicken sausage at the Cheesecake Factory.