Last night on Twitter, Nate Silver wrote, "Major league baseball has been played for 140 years. Last night's events were the sort of thing you might see once in 1400 years." This doesn't seem like a Silver-ian mathematical computation: This just sounds like him freestyling. This also sounds like him being exactly right. Last night was as thrilling and ridiculous and flabbergasting and every other breathless modifier you can come up with, and, even better, it happened during a time in human history when fans could actually watch every pitch of it all. Ten years ago, you would have been lucky to catch one of those games. Last night, you saw them all. We were all very lucky.
But that's not the experience Jose Reyes had last night. No, while the baseball world was dancing and exalting in as grand a night as the sport has had in years, Reyes, as we established yesterday, was at home with family and friends, watching the Brewers' Ryan Braun ground out three times and fly out. This just hours after Reyes, in a move that will never be forgotten if he doesn't return to the Mets in the off-season, dropped a bunt single in the first inning and then asked out of the game. Suffice it to say: Reyes really wanted a batting title.
Well, he got it, the Mets' first batting title in their history. But it doesn't feel very exciting, does it? For one of the Mets' franchise players, for the guy who has been with the team since he was a teenager, for the guy whom the Mets might be spending a massive amount of money on in the off-season ... for him to bunt and then sprint away so he can have a personal record, it just looks bad.
Reyes didn't seem to notice that it looked bad — "I don't care what people think. I was happy." — but manager Terry Collins sure did.
"I understand," the manager said as he began to get choked up. "I heard some comments in the stands. I don't blame them. People pay a good price to come to these games. You've got to understand that I ask these players to do a lot. We worked hard to get their respect this year, and they deserve ours."
If Reyes resigns in the off-season, this will all be forgotten; all that will matter is that Jose Reyes won the first batting title in Mets history. But if he doesn't? This will be the last memory Mets fans have of him. And that is just a shame, and Reyes — as tends to happen in these situations — would have only himself to blame.
A nice irony to this: If Reyes had stayed in the game and gone 0-for-5 the rest of the afternoon ... he still would have won the batting title.