Starting Eduardo Nunez, Brandon Laird and Dellin Betances against the David Price led Rays as they battle for their playoff lives is one thing, but taking Jose Reyes out of, what could be, his last game as a Met to help him win a batting title, that’s another. New York had some interesting approaches to the game of baseball today, a game that is so honorably held by some as a gentleman’s game. As the Baseball Writer’s Association sinks their feet into the “holier-than-thou” approach to the Steroid Era and the likes of Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, and Mark McGwire, you probably won’t see a whole lot of outrage over these moves today.
Certainly, Boston fans are questioning the so-called effort that the Yankees are making, but what about the Mets move to Ryan Braun? Braun has played all season, not taking a couple of stops on the Disabled List like Jose Reyes always seems to do. Braun’s possible percentage point shortage to Reyes is disgusting, especially when you see that Braun had 625 plate appearances to Reyes’ 585. Braun’s overall production had him in the top of the National League in average (2nd, .335), homers (6th, 33) and RBI (4th, 111). Now, Reyes, who was pulled from the game after getting a hit in his first at bat (ya gotta pad those stats, right?) is the front-runner for the title.
As a fan of baseball, I enjoy the Rays run to the Wild Card. I wouldn’t mind seeing the small market beat out Boston, but baseball and ESPN would hate that, as would the ratings. New York and the other major markets suck the life out of fans in Tampa, Kansas City, and Oakland with their spending, but they shouldn’t suck the life out of the game. Minor injuries aside, the Yankees should be doing everything they could to knock the Rays out of the playoffs. They should WANT Boston in the playoffs after they have been choking themselves for the entire month and will be entering the playoffs with no pulse. You want to get at the Red Sox fan base? Let them into the playoffs to get swept! You don’t want any part of a hot Tampa team in the playoffs. The same goes for Reyes. It will be interesting if Braun goes 3 for 4 tonight and wins the batting title all because Reyes and the Mets didn’t pad the stats enough. Cheap ways to end the season. Cheap shots to the gentleman’s game. We’ll see if anyone has the balls to rip New York apart on the major networks, though. It wouldn’t be good for ratings.