One Mets Game, Two Big Backdrops

Mets lose, but they do it with salesmanship.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Are you going to San Francisco? Flowered hair optional.

    It would have been pretty nice if the Mets found a way to win on Tuesday night.

    In a move worth applauding, the team invited 4,000 members of the military to take in the first game at Citi Field since the death of Osama Bin Laden. Because of what happened when Mike Piazza took a mighty swat on September 21st, 2001, the Mets have a link to those dreadful days after 9/11 and the presence of so many men in uniform felt right.

    A late win to send those men and women (and everyone else) home with a smile seemed possible when the Mets loaded the bases with one out in the ninth inning. Alas, you can't manufacture baseball moments like widgets and Josh Thole hit into a double play to end the threat.

    Aubrey Huff won the game in the top of the 10th by homering off of Taylor Buchholz and what was once a 3-0 lead became a 7-6 loss to the Giants. The loss doesn't change anything about the gesture the Mets made, it just reminds us that things don't always work out the way they do in the movies.

    The backdrop of national events wasn't the only one gripping the action at the ballpark on Tuesday. There was also the future of Jose Reyes to think about as he did everything in his power to lead his team to a win.

    Reyes reached base in all six of his plate appearances, stole a base, drove in one run and scored another in a busy night of work. It's the continuation of a bounceback season for Reyes and it came on the heels of a report that the Giants are mulling a trade offer for the impending free agent.

    The move makes a lot of sense for San Francisco. To make a serious bid at defending their title, the Giants have to get better production at shortstop than they have gotten from Miguel Tejada and Reyes is the right age to be a long term solution for them without totally breaking the bank.

    The question, then, is what the Mets are planning to do with a player that no one thinks they will sign after the season. It isn't just a question of whether or not to let go of one of the team's best players.

    Arguing against that for contention reasons is a pretty big non-starter. Things haven't gone incredibly badly for the Mets thus far, yet they are still nowhere near a reasonable bid for the postseason.

    The question is about the value received in exchange for an asset. They know they will get two high draft picks for him if he leaves as a free agent, so it becomes about the level of the offer that the Giants or anyone else make to secure Reyes's services for the rest of the season.

    Reyes is playing well enough that such offers seem possible, which is a far better scenario than the alternative. This backdrop is going to hang around a lot longer than the flags and uniforms.

    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.