Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Reyes moment...

Photo by Michael Baron
A popular radio show today was debating the merits of doing a tribute to Jose Reyes upon his return as a Miami Marlin. The discussion evolved into the host tweaking the fan base over whether or not they could even define "that" moment with Jose Reyes.  The argument was that with other Mets' greats there were definable moments which galvanized them as Mets, Piazza post 9-11 homerun is the easiest example.  I was surprised that many of the callers were unable to identify such a moment in reference to Reyes.

For me it's easy it was June 4th, 2006 a game better known as the Milledge High-Five game.  It was probably a special moment for me because it was one of the best games I ever attended despite being a 7-6 loss in 12 innings.

In the 10th inning with Armando Benitez on the mound Reyes reached third base and the Giants opted to put the shift on with Carlos Delgado at the plate.  On several pitches Reyes raced down the third base line threatening to steal home and in the process completely flustered Benny.  After having Benny melt down so many times as a Met, who by the numbers would be considered an elite career closer ( 289 saves/ ERA 3.13) it was only fitting to have a Met getting under Benny's skin.

Reyes electrified the entire stadium and it felt like we were watching something legendary, something you would talk about for years to come "rem. when Reyes almost stole home and completely flustered Benitez".   I'm not sure if it was because Milledge stole the discussion due to the high-five incident or that it was a loss or that he didn't actually steal home but that moment hasn't been remembered as much as it felt that day.

That is my Reyes moment and I do think he will eventually be remembered a very good Met if not a great. I'm not sure if he's in the Seaver, Gooden, Strawberry, Hernandez, Carter, Piazza class or more the next tier of players like Alfonzo, Lieter, Knight.

As far as a tribute to a player in the prime of his career and playing for a division rival, I would have passed on doing anything special.  Let the fans who appreciated him cheer when his name is announced, that's tribute enough, anything the organization does almost seems like rooting for the opposition...



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