Jose Reyes Knows How to Make Things Difficult

Reyes triples twice to end difficult week with a win

By Josh Alper
|  Monday, May 30, 2011  |  Updated 5:13 PM EDT
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Jose Reyes Knows How to Make Things Difficult

AP

A penny (or $140 million) for your thoughts.

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Jose Reyes has said all the right things in the wake of Fred Wilpon's overly candid interview with the New Yorker, but you have to wonder what's going on deep inside that head of his.

When he was flying around second base Sunday on his way to a triple, there had to be a little voice somewhere inside his head saying: "Still think I'm not worth Carl Crawford money, Freddie?" When he tripled again in the fifth inning, the voice was probably a lot louder.

Reyes had two other hits during Sunday's 9-5 sweep-avoiding victory over the Phillies to make himself the number one thorn in the side of the opposition. It has been a thrill to watch Reyes make life miserable for Mets opponents this season because there's no more exciting a thorn in the side than no. 7.

But there's a little bit of bitter in the sweet, and has been even before Wilpon made it clear that there would be no lavish contract waiting for Reyes in the offseason. The thrills still outweigh the misery, but games like Sunday's are fast becoming difficult for Mets lovers as well because they provide such a stark image of what will soon be missing.

Reyes is playing the best baseball of his life right now, which has caused many a cynic to point out that he's turned it on for a shot at more money on the open market. Others say that we're simply seeing what we would have seen over the last three years if not for the injuries that ruined Reyes just as he moved into the prime of his career.

Those are the people who want to see Reyes re-signed and made the centerpiece of the Mets for years to come. Days like Sunday make that a very appealing proposition, but those dreams are tinged with the realities of life with the 2011 Mets.

Reyes is costly on a team that can barely afford to keep the lights on and he is an asset for a team starving for young talent to make for a brighter tomorrow. At the same time, the prospect of a Mets team without Reyes's skills, speed and smile is painful to even contemplate.

Keeping him is irresistible but so is moving him, a paradox that is going to make for a fascinating couple of months before the trade deadline.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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