It had all the makings of a coronation. It was the only reason Met fans were interested in following the team for the last few weeks of another hapless season. But in a shocking turn of events, they were left with a bad taste in their mouths heading into the off-season, and it had nothing to do with the bad baseball they had seen played in the latter half of the year.
Jose Reyes came into the day a few percentage points ahead of the Brewers’ Ryan Braun for the National League batting crown. The soon-to-be free agent and face of the Met franchise also took the field Wednesday, not knowing if it would be his last time in the only uniform he has known in the big leagues.
Reyes was met with as loud of an ovation that a sparse crowd could give on a dreary day as he strolled to the plate for his first at bat of the game. He laid a perfectly-placed bunt down the third base line and beat out the throw for his 181st hit of the season and improved his average to .337. But almost before the fans could rise to their feet to approve his first hit of the game, Reyes was jogging to the dugout, departing for the day. Exiting for the game and maybe his Met career.
Following the game, it became clear that Reyes had made the decision prior to the game that he would take himself out if he had reached on a hit in his first at bat.
The decision led to an uproar on Twitter, as Jose Reyes, Ryan Braun and Ted Williams (who 70 years to the day went 6-for-8 in a season-ending doubleheader to finish the year with a .406 average) were trending during the game. Texas Ranger pitcher C.J. Wilson pitched in with his own two-cents over the debate.
“the joke is about taking him out of the game. Bush league!! Make him play. People pay a lot of money for tickets”
The Texas left-hander then made it known who he’d be rooting for in the batting race.
“Seriously people- taking out a star player to preserve his batting average lead…weak! I hope ryan braun goes 5- 5 and wins the title now”
As fate would have it, Braun would go 0 for 4 in his regular season finale, ultimately giving Reyes the Mets’ first batting crown in club history.
So, what do you think about Reyes’ decision to remove himself from the game and sit on the batting average lead? Do you agree with Wilson’s comments or do you think it was the right move for the situation?