A Petition to the New York Mets: Please Bring Jose Reyes Home

By Rob Perez
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It’s late, 3:30 AM Eastern Standard Time to be exact…

I’m still awake, and there’s no sleep in sight — as I am very emotional and don’t know what else to do besides write about why.

After Bobby Parnell blew the game for the New York Mets vs. the Washington Nationals last Wednesday, I conducted what has become my annual “R.I.P. Mets” tradition — drinking several potent adult beverages in a very short period of time, and crying as if i’m a Castaway watching my ‘Wilson’ MLB team equivalent drift away from me off into the horizon for yet another Summer…

This year, the Mets are different. They’re good, but, they’re not. They are a special kind of torture that would even impress the heartbroken 2006 Mets or the 2007 “Yup, we just set the MLB record for choking in September” ones. A special kind of torture that makes fans of the team, who at the time were one game back of leading the division, wear paper bags on their head with “SELL THE TEAM!” written across the forehead…

This year, the talent is there…….on the mound at least.

This year, with the exception of David Wright (and Bobby Bonilla), the Mets FINALLY aren’t liable for any gigantic long-term contracts due to players who are realistically worth half of what they make.

This year, it’s not a fluke. The Mets are actually in it

Now, don’t get me wrong — Mets fans shamelessly begging for financial contributions so that the owners of the team (the Wilpon family) will open their ponzi scheme-riddled wallets enabling General Manager Sandy Alderson to go out and acquire some talent — is nothing new…

The franchise, finally done wiping the egg of its face from the unfathomable 4 Year/$66 Million contract they gave to Jason Bay in 2009, has been hesitant to make any sort of large financial commitment to any player. Thus, we haven’t seen a perennial (position player) superstar in a Mets uniform at Citi Field in nearly half a decade.

I don’t want that to sound like a complaint, though. I’m completely ok with it. The Mets laid waste to their veteran culture, demolished the roster, and rebuilt around young arms. 5 years later: here we are. The “young arms” aren’t just “young arms” anymore, they are “Holy Mother of God the Mets’ pitching staff is absolutely insane” young arms. Sandy Alderson did what he could with the limited resources he was given, taking small/calculated free agency risks on Curtis Granderson (4 YR/$60 Million) and Michael Cuddyer (2 YR/$21 Million). I’ll leave it up to you to decide if these were “good” signings or not, regardless: we’re not talking about daunting payroll numbers here in today’s MLB.

Sandy wasn’t done! He recently traded for Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson via the Atlanta Braves. Names who aren’t going to catapult a team’s name to the top of the Las Vegas SportsBook World Series futures odds board by any means, but, certainly an upgrade from the feces that Manager Terry Collins was trotting out there every day…

Which brings us to tonight. Jose Reyes is a Colorado Rockie, for now…

The Colorado Rockies stink. With a record of 42-55, they are 12.5 GB of the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers and are as big of a trade deadline “seller” as there is in the league this year. It started tonight by shedding salary…

Not only did Colorado relieve themselves of a ginormous contract, the Rockies got a pretty damn good player in return in Jose Reyes. The real question is: are the Rockies going to keep him? Short answer: no. Please God, no. When MLB Tonight on MLB Network broke the news, Harold Reynolds set the internet on fire when he delivered the hypothesis that this blockbuster trade means Reyes could be returning to the New York Mets in the very near future…

But why would the Mets want Reyes? As described above, they’ve burned through the better half of a decade restructuring the organization around frugal acquisitions. In addition: over the course of his last three seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, Jose’s batting AND fielding statistics are bleeding to death…

  • 2013: .296 Batting Average/.353 On-Base Percentage/.427 Slugging/.974 Fielding %
  • 2014: .287 Batting Average/.328 On-Base Percentage/.398 Slugging/.965 Fielding %
  • 2015: .285 Batting Average/.322 On-Base Percentage/.385 Slugging/.953 Fielding %

Out of the 424 total games the Blue Jays have participated in since Opening Day in 2013, Reyes has only played in 303 of them (most of the 121 absences due to injury).

One might argue that Jose Reyes is not only a superstar anymore, but, isn’t even worth his contract….and honestly, they might have a case.

Again: why would the Mets want to trade for Jose Reyes?

Let me take you down memory lane, back to 2002 and the MLB Futures Game at Miller Park — where the world was formally introduced to the electricity that accompanies Jose every time he steps into the batter’s box…

That, my friends, is home plate to third base in less than 12 seconds —standing up. I realize i’m a tad biased, but, I can honestly say watching this man run the bases gave me a euphoric sensation that i’m not sure a Barry Bonds/Sammy Sosa/Mark McGwire home run ever came close to matching. Jose Reyes wasn’t just coming … he was here.

Fast-forward to 2003, Jose throws a temper tantrum in the Norfolk Tides (his assigned minor league club via the Mets organization) locker room when he finds out he is not in the starting lineup. As detailed by ESPN’s Jorge Arangure Jr.,

On the day Jose Reyes was called up by the Mets he had spent most of the time in a bad mood. When Reyes had arrived at the ballpark on June 10, 2003, he noticed that he wasn’t in the Norfolk Tides’ starting lineup. Immediately, Reyes became angered. He walked into manager Bobby Floyd’s office and asked why he had been benched. Floyd gave him no reason. Reyes sulked back to his locker and spent most of the game brooding. Reyes simply loved to play. After the game, Reyes was called into Floyd’s office and was told he had been called up to the majors. Reyes couldn’t believe it. He was so excited that he called his mother and father even though it was late at night. “Can you believe it,” he told his parents, “I’m going to be a New York Met!”

It was an orgy of love between the franchise, Jose, and the fans. Something special was brewing in Flushing, NY.

From 2003-2011, despite multiple injuries and stints on the disabled list, the Mets posted a 493-435 record when Reyes was in the lineup and 90-116 when he wasn’t. To this day, Jose ranks 10th in games played (1,050) and is 2nd in at-bats (4,453) in franchise history. In 2006, the Mets’ most successful year of his tenure, he batted an even .300, scored 122 runs, recorded 81 RBIs from the leadoff spot, stole 64 bases, hit 17 triples, 19 home runs, and batted for the cycle once.

Regardless of his impressive numbers: What made Jose so special? Of all the all-stars on the Mets roster, why was Reyes always bae? I can’t speak for everyone, but, before #7: my generation of Mets fans never had a star player who was born & raised through the team’s farm system — other than Edgardo Alfonzo. The team’s stars were already established in the league before their tenure with the franchise (Piazza, Beltran, Delgado, you name it…) or, were simply busy looking at Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones shoot down giant cockroach UFO ships instead of playing baseball…

The Yankees had Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera….We had Reyes.

Jose wasn’t just a superstar, he was our superstar.

We chanted his name, 60,000 strong….

We begged him to stay.

But we quickly came to find out that he never even got the opportunity to

On the day Jose Reyes knew he would not return to the only team he had ever known, he truly realized that baseball was a business. The Marlins had courted him with phone calls, a trip to visit the new ballpark and a fancy dinner. The Mets hardly had even made a phone call. There was never an offer. In reality, it was not the day he signed a contract with Miami that he understood a new chapter was starting in his life. The first few days of free agency had showed him a harsh reality because the Mets never aggressively pursued him. When he did sign the Marlins’ contract, not even New York general manager Sandy Alderson called to say goodbye. It really sunk in then. He was no longer going to be a New York Met.

Forget getting compensated for his services via a trade, the Mets let the friggin’ heart and soul of the franchise walk out the door without so much as a phone call. This is what makes the Mets, the Mets.

As Jose’s prime years went to waste in Toronto, every Mets fans will admit that the thought of Reyes returning to Queens was always in the back of our minds.

And now, we have the opportunity. The Rockies are surely willing to auction off Jose to the highest bidder, and that highest bidder shouldn’t be the Mets … it needs to be the Mets. It’s a chance at redemption for not only the fans of the franchise, but, the notorious owners who have dragged us through their inexplicable management decisions and financial turmoil since 2009.

Jose Reyes in his current form may not single-handily win us the World Series, but, he sure as hell is going to make us believe that we can — and you know what? As a Mets fan, I’m completely ok with that.

So, before I go to bed and dream of Jose’s beautiful dreadlocks flowing in the wind as he hits a stand-up triple to the right center field wall…

I implore you to sign this petition I just created to get the Wilpons to open up the check book and make a deal with a Rockies to acquire our beloved shortstop…

and listen … no, sorry … BLAST max volume the famous “JOSEEEE!!! JOSE-JOSE-JOSEEEEE. JOSEEEE. JOSEEEE!!!!” Ole Anthem that we sang through the streets of Queens every Summer/Fall night from 2003-2011…

…while you read/laugh at the pages and pages and pages of desperate Mets fans pleading for Jose Reyes salvation via Twitter.

"Jose Reyes to the Mets would make me the happiest girl ever ??? — julie (@Julie__Boyle) July 28, 2015"

"Bring Jose Reyes back where he belongs! @Mets @MetsGM — Jesse Portello (@jesseportello) July 28, 2015"

The People have spoken. Come home, Jose. We need you now more than ever.

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