It’s nice to have some things to write about when the spring training game that is being played isn’t on television. Luckily, a few people obliged for me. Notably, Marlins President David Samson, who has showed us why Jose Reyes made a bad (albeit very rich, and probably his only) decision:
In making the move to Little Havana, Mr. Samson said, the team had some tough contract negotiations with new star player Jose Reyes, at one point cutting off talks. “We walked away,” Mr. Samson added. “In negotiations, you have to be willing to go to the edge of the cliff.”
Eventually, Mr. Reyes, among others, was signed. “He said ‘I really want to play in Miami as long as you pay me $1 more than anyone else… I really want to make the most money I can,'” Mr. Samson recalled.
There was a lot of consternation on the interwebs about Jose being a liar, and about being a greedy turncoat who just used the whole “the Mets never made me an offer” violin solo as a cover for his true, greedy intentions. Let’s remember a few things here: First, Reyes earned the right to go after the most money he can get. Second, the Mets didn’t have the money to comfortably give him even if they wanted him. Third: If they did give him $1 more than what the Marlins gave him it would have crippled an already crippled franchise.
That all said, if that Reyes quote is true, it really isn’t inconsistent with anything that Reyes said about the negotiations. The only thing Reyes said about the Mets involvement was that they never made him an offer, so they weren’t an option. What we seem to be inferring is that Reyes wouldn’t have signed with the Mets had they come up with an offer that was close by because the Marlins offered $1 more than everyone else. We’re also inferring that Reyes had the intention of breaking our hearts no matter what. It very well might be true. But we don’t know that, and we’ll never know. Reyes signed for six years at $106 million. If the Mets had given him $16,000,001, does that get it done? Would Reyes have still gone to the Marlins because of the abscence of a state income tax in Florida? If the Wilpons didn’t turn the Mets into a wasteland would they have been more aggressive? I believe so, but we really don’t know this. If people want to believe that Reyes is nothing more than a greedy villain to make themselves feel better about him being gone, that’s their business. I’m not going to do that. Again, I believe if the Mets had the money, if things were different in that regard, he’s a New York Met at this very moment. And I’m not going to blame him for leaving a franchise with no realistic hopes of winning in the near future, with owners that say that he isn’t worth the kind of money he wants to magazine columnists. Reyes didn’t really have a choice here, and he’s lucky that his only choice was a lucrative one.
Now, that doesn’t mean it was a good one. As Reyes will soon find out, he’ll be out of the frying pan and into the fire. Because really, why is David Samson publicly discussing his negotiations with Jose Reyes? Oh … that’s right, because the Marlins are the opposite of a classy organization. The Wilpons might be tone deaf and bad with money, and there’s not a lot of hierarchies I’d take them over, but I’ll sure as hell take them over Loria and his stepson Samson. Every time. Go read that article again, and check out the quotes where he infers that Miami taxpayers are idiots, and that he’d rather play in front of empty houses if it meant they would be filthy rich. Go read it. And go read how his step-father basically left the Montreal Expos to die on the side of the road after selling them to Major League Baseball, who were thinking about contracting them as a result. And go read about how the same guy who is bragging about being able to pay Jose Reyes one more dollar than everybody else once said that Ichiro’s deal back in 2007 (five years at $100 million) would “take down the sport.” Yeah, that guy. That’s your new boss, Jose … Jose Jose Jose. But don’t worry, the grass will be greener on the side they’ll trade you to after two years when those big money years kick in.
Point is, can we really trust this guy? Really trust him at his word? Think hard.
Bottom line, I still can’t blame Reyes for anything. Maybe I’m not going to welcome him back with the same enthusiasm as I would have before, yet I wish him no ill. I hope he kills it (and yes, I’d say that even if I didn’t draft him in the second round of my fantasy draft.) But as for the Marlins, I hope they go 21-141 (down from the 30 wins I wished for them earlier in the day.)
I wish the same kind of thing for former comedian and former Queens resident John Leguizamo. I know, interesting segue. But here’s what Leguizamo put on twitter earlier today:
Just last season he was talking about staying positive through Mets losses or “u get crushed”. Well, guess he got crushed, since he’s gone to the dark side.
Some consultant must have told him that it would be better for his career if he rooted for the Yankees. You know, more people watch their games, so more people will see him in the front row (which if you look at the picture he posted, he can’t even get at a spring training game) and it will remind people that he exists. Too bad … I would’ve never expected a dick celebrity move out of a guy from Queens who was seemingly as big a Mets fan as they come … though his twitter bio says that he’s “from Manhattan“, even though me made plenty of money talking about his life growing up in Queens from his one man shows. I guess he’s turned his back on the entire borough.
Well, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. And I hope you get that signed ball from Mariano. Don’t expect to be welcomed back any time soon to throw out any more first pitches or attend any Mets video premieres.