At this point, for us to believe that Mets shortstop Jose Reyes is really well and healthy, we will need to watch him sprout wings, fly a loop around Citi Field, and then grow retractable chainsaws out of his arms. That is to say: After the comedy of maladies that was last year, it's going to take a lot for us, or anyone, to believe.
That said, if you believe that the eyes of the Post's Kevin Kernan are not lying to him, Reyes is 100 percent, baby. Kernan watched Reyes work out his rehabbed/rehabbing right leg for two hours yesterday. All told, that doesn't sound like a particularly fun 120 minutes for either athlete or reporter, but hey, these are the sacrifices we make in the name of good cheer and hope. And Kernan says Reyes is ready to rock:
For two hours, I watched the Mets shortstop work, testing his surgically repaired right leg time and again during the strenuous workout. There were 90-foot dashes; explosive 10-yard sprints, on which Reyes would grab a tennis ball on one bounce; ground balls hit to his left and right; high choppers where he had to fly across the diamond; weight-lifting; dynamic stretching; core exercises and hitting. Test after test, and each time Reyes came through with a huge smile.
It is tempting to believe it, to believe it all: The mercurial, relentlessly entertaining shortstop will be all the way back, and despite whatever other problems the Mets have, they will have their joyful soul. If he's the Reyes he was, we're going to see an inside-the-park homer at Citi Field this year, we'll see him streaking around the bases and reminding us of how truly special a player he can be. We have been willing to wait for it. It is worth it.
But we waited last year, too. He was always almost back then, just about there, should be around any day now ... and then it never happened. If he says he's 100 percent, we want to believe him. But we don't. Not yet. Whether you're a Mets fan or not, you have to hope we're wrong.