There aren’t going to be any statistics in this article. I’m not here to talk about stolen bases or on-base percentage. Those things matter. But other things matter more.
Treating people with respect matters. Using your money, fame, power for good matters. Being a decent human being matters.
Jose Reyes hasn’t done those things.
In October, the former Mets shortstop was arrested in Hawaii on domestic violence charges after allegedly beating and shoving his wife in a hotel room.
According to the Hawaii News Now, Reyes grabbed Katherine Ramirez off the bed and shoved her, then took her by the neck and “shoved” her into the sliding glass balcony door at the Maui Four Seasons.
Ramirez reported injuries to her thigh, neck, and wrist, according to the police report.
The Rockies said they were “disappointed.”
Reyes didn’t say anything.
In February, MLB placed him on paid leave.
In March, he was supposed to go to trial, but Ramirez refused to cooperate with the prosecution, and the case was dropped. That doesn’t mean Reyes is innocent.
On May 13, in a Friday afternoon news dump, MLB suspended the shortstop through May 31, retroactive to February 23.
"I want to apologize for everything that has happened," Reyes said in a statement. "I am sorry to the Rockies organization, my teammates, all the fans and most of all my family. I am happy to put this all in the past and get back to doing what I love the most, playing baseball. My wife Katherine has remained by my side throughout everything and for that I will be forever grateful."
On June 15, the first day he was eligible to come back to work, the Rockies designated Reyes for assignment.
Today, seven days later, the Mets are considering a reunion with their former shortstop. And I’ve felt sick all day.
I’ve seen the arguments to put Reyes back in orange and blue. I’ve seen the stories calling domestic violence charges “baggage” and I’ve read the articles saying that optics don’t matter and I’ve looked at the numbers that the Mets need to replace David Wright’s offensive output.
I know the Mets need to score more runs. I’m watching the same team you are, the team that’s running Ty Kelly, Eric Campbell, and Kevin Plawecki out on the field more often than anyone would like. And I want more from that team.
Reyes wasn’t convicted, but Rob Manfred still saw fit to suspend him. The Hawaii courts didn’t press charges, not because he was innocent, but because Ramirez wouldn’t cooperate. I’ve never been a victim of domestic violence. I can’t pretend to know how she felt at that moment, or how she feels now, almost eight months later.
I know how I feel, as a woman and as a Mets fan. And I don’t want the Mets to put Reyes back on a pedestal, back at the hot corner at Citi Field.
Blackballing Reyes from baseball isn’t ruining his life. He’s still Jose Reyes. He could coach a high school baseball team or he could retire on the millions of dollars he’s already made in his career.
I can’t hope to stop another team from taking a chance on an aging shortstop who might not be a shortstop anymore. In fact, I can’t stop the Mets from doing it, either. But I can want more from them. I can want them to be proud of the banners they hang around the stadium, of the names they print on the backs of their t-shirts. I will never be proud of Jose Reyes.
Baseball turns athletes into heroes. The sluggers who can knock home runs into McCovey Cove or over the Pepsi Porch are revered as legends. The names of pitchers who can paint the corners or overpower hitters with 100 mph fastballs are whispered in school hallways and in the office break room as the things of fairytales. I’m not judging you for having heroes. You should have heroes. But your heroes will always disappoint you.
Reyes disappointed me.
He made a choice. The Mets have a choice. And I only hope they make the right one.