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Sunday, June 20, 2004

Reyes of Hope 

The Good News
Sorry, I had to use the cheesy Reyes pun headline. But with Jose Reyes back in the line-up I actually have hope for this season. Last night the Mets rolled out a line-up that actually looked somewhat like a major league team. The result? A thrilling extra innings 4 to 3 victory. The win was the result of some solid defensive plays (Floyd), gutsy pitching (Leiter, Looper), aggressive base running (Reyes) and timely hitting (Reyes, Floyd, Cameron). Just imagine what this team is capable of if the pitching stays close to what it has been, if Reyes can shake the rust off and stay healthy, and if Richard Hidalgo can return to form. I know, that's a lot of ifs. But why not us damn it! Why can't the Mets be the team to string together a nice winning streak - maybe take 11 of the next 15 - to overtake the division? WHY NOT US!

The Bad News
Sorry to put a damper on things, but the return of Reyes last night was sort of bitter sweet for me. Ever think your car is nice and clean until someone pulls up next to you with the same color car that has just been washed and waxed? Then, all of the sudden you're like "damn, my car's nasty." Well, that's how I felt about Kazuo Matsui last night. All season long I told myself he was doing okay. But watching Reyes play and seeing the excitement he brings to the team magnified how bad Matsui sucks. Matsui was supposed to be a Reyes-like player. A speedy, switch hitting middle infielder who could make things happen with the leather, his speed and his bat. In just one game back, Reyes did more to seal a Met win than Matsui has done all season long. I've tried my hardest to be patient with Matsui but it's getting harder and harder as time goes by and is now close to impossible now that Reyes is back standing idle at second base, forced to watch as Matsui botches tailor made double plays. Like I said last week, since Matsui obviously cares and is not dogging it out there it's hard to trash him too badly. At the same time, however, with his piss poor play it's hard not to. So I'll make Matsui a deal. I'll give him until the All Star break. If after the break he does not make huge strides with the glove, and even some progress with the bat, the mercy I've shown him will end.
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