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Ted Williams he’s not: Jose Reyes exits finale after leadoff hit to preserve batting title lead

Sep 28, 2011, 1:46 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets Getty Images

Ted Williams famously opted against resting to preserve his .400 batting average on the final day of the 1941 season, instead going 6-for-8 in a doubleheader to finish at .406.

Jose Reyes took a different approach today, leading off the Mets’ season finale with a bunt single that raised his batting average to an NL-leading .337 … and then immediately exiting the game as fans in New York booed the decision.

They didn’t even wait for Reyes to run the bases or take his position defensively in the next half-inning. And that may end up being his final moment in a Mets uniform, which is a shame.

By adding a 1-for-1 to his season totals Reyes has made things very difficult on Ryan Braun, who now needs to collect at least three hits tonight to win the batting title.

101 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. jcoan59 - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    Hey look a list of players who have done it.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/16808/jose-reyes-leaves-game-to-protect-title

    But Jose is a Met, so the media will pile on.

    • stercuilus65 - Sep 28, 2011 at 9:05 PM

      They will “pile on” because it was such a weasel move.

    • tekton8 - Sep 28, 2011 at 10:26 PM

      PLEASE don’t defend this d-bag… he deserves to be destroyed by the media and baseball fans alike for this garbage… so refreshing to hear he was booed by his own fans after his stunt…

      • mamow74 - Sep 29, 2011 at 7:51 PM

        Listen I was at the game, I think it’s fair to say that nobody was booing Jose Reyes, simply for the reason that I would doubt that anyone even had any idea that the move was Reyes’ and not Collins’ until after the game. I’m pretty sure we all assumed that Collins made the call and really, in the moment, we just wanted to see Reyes play (personally, it harkened back to buying tickets to see Mike Piazza’s last game and Randolph taking him out before his last at bat–I was absolutely furious at Randolph at the time). When I found out the truth about it afterward I honestly didn’t give a crap, and it’s pretty annoying for people to judge a person for wanting to have a silver lining for this shitty, shitty, shitty year. And having a Met win the batting title for the first time ever is goddamn awesome, and having it be Jose Reyes, who a lot of us have watched since he was 19 years old, makes it that much more awesome. More than anything, though, who cares? It was a meaningless game. Nuts to all of you haters, I hope we get him back more than anything.

  2. aceshigh11 - Sep 28, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    That Ted Williams story blows me away every time I hear or read it.

    Declining to sit when he’s at an even .400, and ends up going 6 FOR 8!

    ONLY Ted could do something so badass. Just amazing.

    • mjanik25 - Sep 28, 2011 at 10:22 PM

      It’s not entirely that simple.

      http://mlb.sbnation.com/2011/9/28/2456223/jose-reyes-batting-title-mets-news

  3. bigleagues - Sep 28, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    Welcome to the Red Sox Jose. You’ll fit right in at the infirmary.

    • aceshigh11 - Sep 28, 2011 at 7:28 PM

      Ya think there’s any chance of that?

      I will go ballistic if Theo pulls the trigger for him…great talent, but a cry baby and waaay too injury-prone.

      • bigleagues - Sep 28, 2011 at 9:38 PM

        I follow the Mets pretty closely. I don’t agree with the cry baby tag at all, but the injury bug would certainly concern me. That said – I don’t think Theo would do it. Jose is solid defensively, but he is far from great. And if Reyes speed is compromised than a big part of his appeal is diminished – especially for the money he may yet command.

  4. johngaltwho - Sep 28, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Perhaps its a NY thing. What Reyes did was similar to what the Giants did this weekend. Players lie down and fake injuries to stop a surging opponent. As with Reyes – its not strictly against the rules, you can argue that other teams have done the same thing – but that doesn’t make it any less sleazy and contrary to the spirit of the game.

    • Jeff Kallman - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:44 AM

      Might we please remember that neither the Mets nor the Reds had anything substantial to play for this week? It’s not as though a division title or a wild card were on the line. Neither the Mets nor the Reds were in the spoiler role; neither team’s doing or undoing was going to have any effect on any race. The East and the Central were won; the wild card was down to the Braves or the Cardinals; the Mets and the Reds no longer had anything to do with any of those races.

      If the Mets did have something to play for, you can bet Terry Collins would have brooked nothing short of Reyes all in, all innings. And Reyes probably wouldn’t have even thought about coming out if he’d gotten a hit the first time up. So with nothing to play for for the Mets, Reyes chose to play for the batting title he probably secured in earnest with those two bombs Tuesday night. If you think Reyes is the most egregious such player ever to check in at the plate, you sure don’t remember Bill Madlock, a man who seemed to live for batting titles and little else. And who, according to Bill James, inspired the men in the press box to get pools going on when his hamstrings would begin to bark in any given September during which he had a clean shot at the titles.

  5. garyman1 - Sep 28, 2011 at 9:48 PM

    As Vito Corleone would say…. “You can ACT LIKE A MAN”.
    Jose chose not to.

  6. mrhojorisin - Sep 29, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    There seems to be a lot of anti-Reyes sentiment here that existed BEFORE yesterday, so I have a question: let’s say the batting race was such that Braun needed one hit last night to take the lead, and he got it in his first at bat. Since he was also playing in a meaningless game, how much shit would he have taken for coming out after that one at bat? I’m guessing not much. This whole thing is a non-issue; what Reyes did was not new or unusual; and it is amusing hearing people rant about athletes upholding levels of integrity that they probably don’t even expect of themselves in areas more important than professional sports. Plus, Braun going oh-fer makes the whole conversation moot.

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