I, no doubt like most fans of the New York Mets, am still not able to process the loss of superstar short stop Jose Reyes to the Miami Marlins. Yes, I know it has occurred, but I am still hoping that something will make me snap out of it and realize this is only a dream.
Actually, it is like some terrible nightmare. In my mind this is right up there with the worst trade in Mets history - Tom Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds, but it is in fact a more insidious and devastating move that will affect this team and its fans for years to come.
The loss of Seaver in a deadline trade in 1977 sent away the player, dubbed The Franchise by New York sports writers, who embodied the heart and soul of the Mets. It didn't matter that the Mets were a losing team when Tom Terrific was pitching. People went to see him, to watch his mastery on the mound, to enjoy his personality and his true connection to fans and team.
Now flash forward to 2011. Reyes may not have been "the franchise," but he surely was the most popular, effervescent, and talented player on the Mets in recent years. Coming off his best year ever, including a .337 average that gave him the National League batting crown, Reyes was (just like Seaver) a reason to come to the ballpark. Watching him hit a triple was like sitting back and listening to Yo-Yo Ma playing the cello. It became an ethereal experience, making for a majestic and surreal moment when all seemed right in the Mets' universe.
Sadly, Reyes takes his wonderful smile, his exuberant spirit, and his many talents to Miami. Yes, there are those who say Reyes is too injury prone. His legs are going to go on him. Whatever the reason the Mets did not make a serious offer, it leaves Mets fans cold. Many of us feel that GM Sandy Alderson should have done whatever it took to get Reyes back to Citi Field. Now he will return with the visiting Marlins on April 14, 2012, and how much do you want to bet that there will not only be a capacity crowd but that they will give him a standing ovation?