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The dumbest thing you’ll read today

May 7, 2011, 10:42 AM EDT

Chip Hale, Jose Reye, Marvin Hudson

I wouldn’t say it unless it was true.

You might remember that Jose Reyes was called out while trying for a triple last Wednesday night against the Nationals. It was one of the worst calls in recent memory, as Reyes never took his hand off the third base bag, but Tom Van Riper of Forbes saw the play as an opportunity to chuck spitballs at the shortstops’s entire major league career.

The triple/ non-triple against the Nationals had all the elements of Reyes’ eight-year career: strong bat smoking a ball up the gap, explosive speed getting him to third, only to wind up back in the dugout thanks to a lack of brains. The sad part was how predictable the play was. Scintillating as he is to watch when he’s going well, Reyes has never really learned how to play the game.

Yes, let’s blame Reyes for Marvin Hudson’s complete and total ineptitude. And what if Reyes was called safe there? I guess Van Riper would have said he was just lucky.

Unfortunately Van Riper’s commentary is par for the course among those who blame Reyes, David Wright and Carlos Beltran for the team’s failings since the 2006 NLCS, despite each of them being among the best position players in the history of the entire franchise. Folks like Van Riper shouldn’t be ignored, but highlighted for their complete lack of understanding.

(Hat-tip to friend of the blog Ted Berg of Tedquarters for bringing this to my attention)

  1. jwbiii - May 7, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    Are sure you won’t have a Lenny Dykstra post today?

  2. aburns77 - May 7, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    Sounds like a bitter Mets fan if I’ve ever heard one, you listen to sports radio in New York and you’d think Reyes and Wright are total stiffs the way fans talk about them, and it’s a shame because they’re both great players. it’s not their fault their owner is woefully inept and can’t put a quality ballclub around them.

    • chrisny3 - May 7, 2011 at 2:34 PM

      Disagree. Sounds like a Yankees fan to me. I listen to sports radio in NY and most of those who knock Reyes and Wright are Yankees fans or fans of other teams. Mike Francessa who is NY’s biggest sports radio host and is a biased Yankees fan constantly knocks those two.

    • chrisny3 - May 7, 2011 at 2:35 PM

      Also, most Mets fans want Reyes back.

    • chrisny3 - May 7, 2011 at 2:49 PM

      Just looked back at Van Riper’s archives. He’s definitely not a Mets fan. Everything he writes he rips the Mets — from the owners to all the players, And he called for MLB to “dissolve” the Mets. No fan of the team would ever call for that.

      Don’t know for sure, but I bet he is a Yankees fan.

      • aburns77 - May 7, 2011 at 3:01 PM

        Yes Francesca does say that, but my point was more generally that Mets fans I know and have heard frequently downplay both Reyes’ and Wright’s value and say how both of them should be traded all the time and I don’t think that’s fair. Both of these guys are very talented and would make any ballclub better and I think that on the whole Mets fans want to blame them for their teams’ failures when in fact their failures are really more of a product of the front office (cough Minaya cough) not putting enough talent around them. Of course there is a large group of Mets fans who don’t feel that way, but they’re not nearly as vocal or as prevalent as the haters out there.

      • chrisny3 - May 7, 2011 at 3:09 PM

        aburns, while I agree that there are some Mets fans who knock Reyes or Wright (but rarely both), they are in the minority. Go to metsblog.com and look at the posts. The overwhelming majority of Mets fans seem to want to keep both players.

        Regardless, go to the Forbes article that D.J. linked to. There are archives listed there for Van Riper. He wrote a ridiculous article about how the Dodgers should move back to Brooklyn and MLB should “dissolve” the Mets. No Mets fan I’ve ever come across has ever advocated for their team to be dissolved. Ever. So Van Riper is definitely a fan of another team. I’m guessing Yankees, Red Sox, or possibly even the Dodgers (based on his prior writing).

  3. mikedi33 - May 7, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    Well who are you suppose to blame? Bottom line is none of these 3 players are winners. None of them have ever stepped up. Reyes is clearly more gifted than Rollins but Rolllins can carry a team. These guys might be good position players but they have never been winners

    • aburns77 - May 7, 2011 at 11:14 AM

      Nothing against Rollins, but I think you’re giving him a little too much credit for the success of the Phillies. You look at their roster top to bottom and it’s very solid, which is why they can lose a guy like Utley for a couple of months and still be the best in the NL. You can argue that Wright and Reyes aren’t winners I guess, but they’ve never had a pitching staff and a deep lineup that comes anywhere near what the Phils are trotting out there everyday.

      • chadjones27 - May 7, 2011 at 1:51 PM

        Rollins won the NL MVP when the Phils were trotting out Moyer, Hamels, and Eaton. Not exactly what I’d call a great pitching staff.

      • solidzac - May 7, 2011 at 2:09 PM

        “Rollins won the NL MVP when the Phils were trotting out Moyer, Hamels, and Eaton.”

        I’m not about to argue that their 2008 rotation was one for the ages or anything, but Hamels’s ERA + in 2008 was a very good 146, 3 points higher than Oswalt’s last year. Further, Moyer’s was a very solid 118, or 4 points higher than A.J. Burnett’s in 2009 when the Yanks won it all.

    • paperlions - May 7, 2011 at 11:23 AM

      When has Rollins ever carried a team? He has never even been close to the best player on his own team, and all of the Philly teams that were successful have been stacked. By definition, no one carries teams like Philly, NYY, or Boston, because those teams have so much talent in the field and on the mound….no one is ever doing it by themselves.

      • oneshot386 - May 7, 2011 at 11:38 AM

        How about thing he won, thats right, I think its called NL MVP. What has reyes ever won since being in the league???

    • cktai - May 7, 2011 at 11:39 AM

      And I here I thought that the Phillies succes was thanks to the breakout seasons that Hamels, Utley, Ruiz, Victorino and Werth all had in 2007.

      • cktai - May 7, 2011 at 11:44 AM

        Smart move of Rollins to start carrying his team right when a fresh batch of talent joined his team though.

      • clydeserra - May 7, 2011 at 2:37 PM

        true MVP then

      • solidzac - May 7, 2011 at 2:56 PM

        Also, keep in mind that for as good as they were, the Phillies in 2007 were basically one really terrible Tom Glavine start away from not making it to the postseason, not fulfilling Rollins’s prediction and possibly not winning the MVP.

    • Mark - May 7, 2011 at 12:06 PM

      Maybe you could help explain something for me. I’d love to believe Rollins carried the team. He’s a great guy. And he even said they were the team to beat. I just thought I’d point out how he’s carried the team during the playoffs:

      Career NLDS: 246/306/439 (745 OPS)
      Career NLCS: 212/278/303 (581 OPS)
      Career WS: 222/308/267 (574 OPS)

      When they won the WS vs TB: 227/261/318 (579 OPS)

      Maybe you can help me out here because I’m just a tiny bit confused. Rollins carried the team, right? I’m obviously not that good at understand baseball, because I thought having a 600 OPS was not a good thing. And would not be considered carrying a team. Since when did this become a standard of carrying the team?

      But you’re right. Jose Reyes totally let the team down. Not the pitching, none of the other players, none of the injuries. It was squarely on Jose Reyes. He should have been more like Reyes and posted a sub 600 OPS to “carry” the Mets.

      • Mark - May 7, 2011 at 12:06 PM

        Sorry the end should say he should have been more like Rollins.***

    • epi44 - May 7, 2011 at 2:43 PM

      LOL at the Rollins MVP. His mystical MVP year he put up a line of (.296 /.344 /.531 /.875) with an OPS+ of 119. Good year, but certainly not MVP worthy. He wasn’t even the best player on his team that year, Utley was. And for comparison sake “non-winner” David Wright put up a .325/.416 /.546 /.963 line with an OPS+ of 149; including a 1.034 OPS in Sept. Matt Holliday was also a monster that yr, especially down the stretch…Rollins winning was a joke.

      Rollins’ “MVP year” actually had a lower OPS+ than any full season of Wright’s career…even the last 2 seasons the worst two of Wright’s career which was considered a let down (and many Mets fans complained about) he had OPS+es of 124 and 131.

      And lets not forget it took 8 full seasons into “winner” Jimmy Rollins’ career before he even won a single playoff game. So if we really are going to judge players by their teams success, Rollins was as big of a “loser” as anyone until he was a couple months shy of 30.

  4. davebrownspiral - May 7, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    If I’m not mistaken, wasn’t Rollins National League MVP in 2007?

    • clydeserra - May 7, 2011 at 11:44 AM

      He wasn’t the best player on his team that year, Chase Utley was, 7.7 WAR to 6.3. Utley payed 30 less games too.

      • Jonny 5 - May 7, 2011 at 12:52 PM

        It’s as if he didn’t even see the play.

  5. Cran Boy - May 7, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    I think it was Bill James who said that it’s a sign of a messed-up franchise when its failings are attributed to its best players. Reyes, Wright, pre-injury Beltran…pretty much sums it up.

  6. nicosamuelson2 - May 7, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    Reyes > Rollins.

  7. mikedi33 - May 7, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Alot of revisionist history here. The Phils were not stacked in 2007 but the underdogs in the division going in. certain players are red light players and the Phils are blessed to have some while the Mets do not.

    • fquaye149 - May 7, 2011 at 4:26 PM

      Which is why they won the division by a very narrow margin over the “non-red light” (???) Mets and didn’t do a g-darned thing in the playoffs? Gotcha.

  8. chrisny3 - May 7, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    Stupidest comment I’ve ever seen, but then Van Riper habitually rips everything Mets — from the owners to all the players.

    He’s definitely not a Mets fan, as he’s called for MLB to ‘dissolve” the Mets. I think he’s either a Yankees or Red Sox fan.

    As for Rollins, he’s a good player but Reyes is better. Rollins has been helped by playing in a hitters haven for his entire career, while Reyes has always played in parks favoring pitchers.

  9. oneshot386 - May 7, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    I have never seen a site that let so many idiots post like this one. I mean really guys, people really believe that reyes is better than rollins. Give me a f*cking break!!

    • tomemos - May 7, 2011 at 3:40 PM

      “I have never seen a site that let so many idiots post like this one.”

      I think your grammar said more than you meant it to there.

      • Sign Ahead - May 7, 2011 at 4:47 PM

        Darn it, tomemos! It’s not NICE to make me shoot milk out my nose.

  10. diehardcubbiefan4life - May 7, 2011 at 11:10 PM

    Whata chipwich.

  11. smokehouse56 - May 8, 2011 at 8:30 AM

    Not living in the cesspool that’s called New York, one has to wonder about their team and especially their so called sports writers and fans. Let me be clear folker in NY. Jose Reyes is a fine SS and would be a welcome edition to any team in fly-over country. Can’t understand your band wagon mentality. You don’t deserve any of the team you have.

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