But he would have loved Reyes. Of that much I am sure. Hell, we all love Reyes.-- What We Carry
We love him. We watched him develop, and we have seen so many of his trials and triumphs. We know the way he gets when he’s happy, when he’s sulky, when he’s angry, when he’s jubilant. He feels, well, almost like family.
Note that I say almost like family, which is very different than actually being family. We are not actually related to Jose Reyes and the love we feel for him as fans is not the love we have for our real-life loved ones. Obviously. And the prospect of losing Reyes, weighing so heavily on the minds of Mets fans these days, is not the same as losing a family member. You don’t have to remind me.
But it is, on the orderly plane that baseball provides for us to try to sort some of these things out, some distant, more palatable version of that. Here is someone you love. And now, due to circumstances beyond your control, you might lose him too soon.
So understandably, Mets fans gather on blogs, in the airwaves and out on the Shea Bridge on Friday nights desperate to show the world their love for this great player, underscoring the pain we will feel if he leaves for some other green pasture elsewhere.
I can’t say if Reyes will be a Met at the end of this season or the beginning of the next one. Few can. And while I’m not as resigned to his departure as many in the media and fanbase, I know this for certain: He’ll be gone someday. Everything goes away eventually. If not next year for Reyes, then five or seven or ten years down the road.
We can lament the hand Reyes – and all of us, really – has been dealt, with so many of his best years wasted by a subpar front office, bad players around him, crappy bullpens, mishandled injuries, everything. Not to mention his contract coming up now, with the Mets in financial flux and hamstrung by a slew of bad deals. That all sucks, no doubt.
But we should celebrate, too, that we have this right now. No matter what happens with Reyes later this year or after the season, the special things Reyes has done and is doing every night this season are some we can carry forever. It is an awesome spectacle, a confluence of immense talent and pure joy on the baseball field, with the churning legs and flying dreadlocks and beaming smile. This is ours to keep.
And I can sit here now regretting that my brother never got to see this, knowing how much he would have loved it. But that’s useless. Besides, I carry with me my brother’s love of baseball. I carry him every day, and it’s not traumatic; it’s awesome. He exists now as an inextricable part of me, a part I can celebrate.
We are alive and we get to enjoy Jose Reyes playing baseball. It beats the alternative.