Jose Reyes is back, returning Sunday afternoon with the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets Single-A affiliate. It was quite the scene in Coney Island as fans flooded the ballpark for a chance to see the former fan-favorite. Despite his well-documented off-field issues, Mets fans were thrilled to have their man back.
Reyes received a standing ovation during his first plate appearance and a “Jose! Jose! Jose!” chant broke out. It felt like old-times at Shea Stadium. Although his first at bat ended with him striking out swinging, fans applauded him as he walked back to the dugout. He was greeted with another loud ovation when he came up for his second at bat of the afternoon. Reyes’ second at bat came to an end quickly as he grounded out to third base on the first pitch. He did, however, show off his speed, getting down the line well on the groundout. Reyes then hit into a fielder’s choice in his third and final at bat of the afternoon.
Meanwhile, in the field, Reyes played third base for the first time since he was 17. He got his first opportunity in the top of the 2nd, catching a pop-up in foul territory to end the inning. Reyes caught another pop-up with ease in the top of the 5th inning. Fans broke out in another “Jose! Jose! Jose!” chant after he made the catch.
Only one grounder came Reyes’ way in his six innings in the field. He handled the ground ball without trouble. Although he was not tested in the field too much today, Reyes looked pretty comfortable at third base for someone who had not played the position in sixteen years.
Reyes’ day was over after six innings, as it was his first game action in two weeks. He met with the media after he left the game and was peppered with questions about his Domestic Violence incident.
Reyes said about the issue: “I am sorry for what happened. I am a human being. I made a mistake.”
Reyes continued, throughout the press conference, to apologize for his actions and repeatedly harped on the fact that he is a human and that he made a mistake. He also said that he understands if people do not like him, but he hopes they will give him a second chance.
Although most of the questions were about Domestic Violence, Reyes did answer some questions about baseball. He mentioned that he was unhappy in Colorado and that being traded mid-season last year and having to move his family was hard on him. He noted that he knows he is not the same player he was during his first stint as a Met, but that he thinks still can contribute to the club. He later said that he does not expect it to be too long before he joins the Mets in the big leagues.
Afterwards, Cyclones manager, Tom Gamboa, said that Reyes would most likely make his first start in left field and get four ABs in tomorrow night’s game.
Jose Reyes (Photo Credit: Mark Suleymanov/Scout.com)