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Jimmy Rollins takes some shots at Jose Reyes

Oct 1, 2011, 10:03 AM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v  New York Mets Getty Images

While preparing for Game 1 of the NLDS against the Cardinals yesterday at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Jimmy Rollins still managed to keep up with one of his favorite hobbies: Tweaking Mets fans.

The big topic of the day? Jose Reyes‘ decision to take himself out of Wednesday’s season finale following a bunt single in order to preserve his lead for the National League batting crown. Rollins told Mike Puma of the New York Post that he would have done things differently.

“I would have played the whole game,” Rollins said. “I’m like, ‘Hey, I fought this hard to be in this position and I’m going to see it through to the end.’ My personality, I’m going to ride it out. I worked this hard to be this good and put up these numbers, I would like to see it all the way to the end.”

Keep in mind, Rollins is a .272 career hitter and has never batted higher than .296 in a full season in the big leagues, so he will probably never have to worry about being in the the same situation. Sorry, most of you guys know I’m a Mets fan, so I at least had to get that one out of my system.

Anyway, that’s not all. Rollins also questioned Reyes’ motivation in the past, hinting that he wasn’t a team player in previous seasons.

“He did everything he needed to do, and when you see that coming from another player, you see them putting the team first,” Rollins said. ” ‘It’s not about me. I’ve got to push the issue for the team. I put myself in position that puts us in position.’ In previous years you just didn’t get quite that feeling from [Reyes] being in the other dugout. This year you really did. It was like, ‘This man is doing everything he can.’ “

If Reyes wasn’t doing “everything” he could from 2006-2008, when he was one of the best players in baseball, well, I feel pretty cheated. More realistically, though, whatever drop in production we saw from 2009-2010 was because of injury, not because he wasn’t a team player. It’s important to understand that Rollins is also looking out for himself here, as he will also be a free agent this winter. Rollins, who turns 33 in November, can’t touch Reyes in terms of production at this point, but will clearly try to argue that his leadership and intangibles are worth a similarly significant investment. And hey, can’t blame the guy for trying.

  1. espfdps - Oct 1, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    How many gold gloves and mvp awards from 06-08 did reyes have??????. Rollins wasnt one of the best according to you yet he was mvp in 07.

    • D.J. Short - Oct 1, 2011 at 1:50 PM

      When did I say Rollins wasn’t a good player? That never happened. Read again.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 1, 2011 at 2:59 PM

      Haha, gold gloves. Palmeiro won a GG playing something like 38 games at first and DH’d the rest of the year, and Jeter continuously wins GGs while playing some of the worst shortstop.

      Also, there were plenty of players better than Rollins the year he won the MVP.

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 1, 2011 at 8:38 PM

      In seriousness Jimmy has great defensive stats regardless of those mythical GG.

  2. gallaghedj311 - Oct 1, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    Cur68: what’s wrong with u? Why the heck would anyone rip Braun? What Reyes did lacked integrity. Maybe if he thought less about himself and more about the kids at the park that wanted to watch him play, we’d be having a different conversation. As for Jimmy, obviously Reyes is better at this point in their career. BUT Reyes has to stay healthy in order to see himself in the HOF, along with Jimmy, who will be there undoubtedly.

    • cur68 - Oct 1, 2011 at 2:04 PM

      What Reyes did helped guarantee that a Met would win the batting title. The first Met ever. Its how you chose to view his actions that color your take on the matter. Also, maybe put yourself in his cleats, for minute. If you’d played at a high level, been often injured because of it, and received that amount of scorn from your fanbase and peers, wouldn’t you also walk off with a title and to hell with that collection of fair weather friends? Considering how he’s been treated by many fans, media, and other players, why should he do anything other than what he did?

      As for Braun, he sat out a game previously for exactly the same reasons that Reyes left the last Met’s game early; to preserve his average. It was no different unless I’ve been misinformed.

      A lot of comparisons were made to Ted Williams. Williams himself said, years later, if he’d known how important .400 was going to be he’d have sat out rather than played. One guy was a loved figure in his time, the other a lightening rod for controversy created by others. They did opposite things but for arguably the same reasons; Williams, because he knew no better, played. Reyes, because he did know better, didn’t. As Braun didn’t. All, with the same information would have done the same thing, yet it’s only Reyes getting caned for it. That’s what’s the matter with me.

  3. mamow74 - Oct 1, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    D.J. Short? I like where your head is at. I’m pretty sure Rollins is sore because there is no longer any debate whatsoever as to who the better player is. Talk about petty, the guy is in the playoffs and he’s still hating on the Mets. And people think this guy is cool?

  4. jeffk927 - Oct 1, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    Oh D.J, if you wanted to write a “stick-up-for-my-guy” post, you didn’t have to couch it with a vague headline. Reyes will never reach his own ceiling because he’s his own worst enemy and teams know it. But c’mon, can you seriously defending his decision to come out of the game after a bunt single in the first? His own fans booed. What a clown. But, for the NL East’s sake… I sure hope you guys get competitive soon…

    • D.J. Short - Oct 1, 2011 at 8:10 PM

      I came out immediately and thought it was a stupid move, but not because of the batting title. The fans booed because it may very well be his final game as a Met and he left after the first inning. That’s it. There was a disconnect between the fans and Reyes there. I don’t care about the batting title at all, it’s just that he had zero self-awareness in thinking that fans may be upset for him leaving the game.

      As you can see, I’m defending Reyes in this instance because there’s nothing to suggest he hasn’t been a team player or given 100 percent in past seasons. Wednesday was the first time where I legitimately questioned his motivation.

  5. gallaghedj311 - Oct 1, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    Cur: Im not following the Braun point at all. Braun getting a day off during the final week of the season is completely different than jose Reyes intentionally ending his season early to preserve an individual award.

    • cur68 - Oct 1, 2011 at 2:39 PM

      Amounts to the same thing in that the effect is the same; no at bats = no 0’fers = no loss to the average. He could have insisted he play y’know. Like what Williams did?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 1, 2011 at 3:10 PM

      Why though? This has happened before without all the criticism.

  6. dirtycrumbs - Oct 1, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    Ugh, why can’t my fellow Mets fan recognize Reyes pulled a weasel move? If Jeter (or any other popular Met fan villain) did this we’d be up in arms. It was bs and the conventional wisdom is on the money with this one.

    For years we’ve been defending the guy and so many of the (mostly unfair) knocks that the guy is a me-first clown. And what does he do on his potentially last day as a Met? He goes and validates so much of the knuckle-dragging criticism of the guy. That really stinks!

    Rollins is obvioulsy not a disinterested party, and he probably overstates a few things, but Reyes did this to himself. Sorry if I’m not going to reflexively defend the guy. He made his bed, he can sleep in it.

    • D.J. Short - Oct 1, 2011 at 8:04 PM

      I think it was a stupid move, but not because of the batting title. That was secondary to me as a Mets fan. What was frustrating was, as you said, him leaving what could be his final game as a Met after a bunt in the first inning. If that was his final act as a Met, it will not be a satisfying end. If he would have done that last season or the year before, I would have just shrugged my shoulders and moved on, because I just don’t care about the batting title all that much.

  7. gogigantos - Oct 1, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    Sabes wants Rollins,,,, another aged dude at ss when there is a dirt cheap better glove on the roster right effing now
    Rollins to the Giant,,, noooooooooooo

  8. gogigantos - Oct 1, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    Reyes or Rollins to the Gints
    noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  9. purnellmeagrejr - Oct 2, 2011 at 8:49 AM

    well wrtten column – I liked the fact that DJ pointed out Rollins has a stake in downplaying Reyes.

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