Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Long, Strange Odyssey

Tuesday night saw the return of Jose Reyes to the Mets after 4 1/2 seasons elsewhere. It's odd to see him back here. Reyes, in so many ways, feels like a piece of an era of Mets Baseball that has long since passed (and sure, the same could be said of David Wright, except that Wright never left and so it doesn't feel quite the same). When I think of Reyes, I guess mostly I think of the exuberant young fellow that seemed so emblematic of the Omar/Willie generation. But it was an era that never saw its full potential and when Reyes departed after the 2011 season, that time was officially over.

Since then, Jose has been on an odd journey, through a year in Miami, playing for a fake team that signed him to an enormous contract and then unsurprisingly dumped him onto another team. He was in Toronto for a while, eating Poutine and being the "other" Jose, to Colorado, where he seemed mostly miserable and then to an ill-advised brush with the law that's called his morals and ethics into question. The number and the name and the face look kind of familiar, but a lot has happened in these intervening 4 1/2 years. It's not the same guy.

That's not to say he wasn't given a warm welcome back last night, because he was, and because for his faults, and he had many, Mets fans still love him. And I suppose in a perfect world he never would have left and everything that happened over those years would have gone differently, but at the time it seemed the necessary course of events. As was the case with the R.A. Dickey trade a year later, Reyes didn't fit the concept or the direction of the team anymore. The "Act," as it was, had worn thin and didn't seem useful. What good was an aging, expensive Shortstop with iffy legs on a team that wasn't going to contend?

It didn't make sense to bring him back then and I'm not totally sold on the idea that it makes sense now, but then again, it's also not an awful idea. He wants to be here, clearly, and it's not costing the Mets anything, so what the hell. Welcome back, Jose.

Unfortunately, his return coincided with the Mickey Mouse Marlins doing Mickey Mouse things to the Mets, as Mike Stanton hit a pair of Home Runs to throw a giant turd in the Mets night, particularly after Steven Matz had been pitching so well for a majority of the evening. But this game felt like, say, last week, when after the Mets got behind it seemed a foregone conclusion that they weren't going to come back, and that's what happened. I guess they were due, after blowing up the scoreboard for 5 straight days, but, as I always say, come on. At least beat the Fucking Marlins.

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