BALTIMORE - They were supposed to be the cornerstones of the left side of the Mets infield for a generation.
But while David Wright is suffering through what could be the Mets' sixth consecutive losing season, Jose Reyes has finally settled in with the first-place Toronto Blue Jays -- and said he feels for his former teammate.
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"I know he's going through some tough times right now, but he's a veteran guy," Reyes said Saturday before Toronto's 3-2 loss to the Orioles at Camden Yards. "He's going to do what he can do on the field."
Reyes went 2-for-4 with a walk, but the Jays fell to the O's in a tight game on a gorgeous day in front of a big crowd.
Still, Toronto -- which makes its first trip to Yankee Stadium on Tuesday with Long Island's Marcus Stroman facing Masahiro Tanaka -- leads the AL East at 40-30. That's after a disastrous 2013 that included multiple player acquisitions, big expectations and a last-place finish.
Reyes hasn't tasted the postseason since 2006 with the Mets. He said he's tired of it and expects Wright is, too.
"After a little while, you just want to win," Reyes said. "It's not about the money, because we are already set. We've got a contract and it's now about winning. We're not getting any younger, you know? What is he, 31? I'm 31. I want to win. So I know about that.
"At this point, we want to win. I'm tired of being in last place. I want to play meaningful games in September. The year that we went to the playoffs in 2006, oh, man, that was an unbelievable feeling. Just every game that we played, like wow, the intensity and stuff. I loved that. We're in a good position this year to have a good year."
Unfortunately, the Mets can't say the same. They are 30-38 after Saturday's 5-0 loss to San Diego. General manager Sandy Alderson told season-ticket holders Saturday the team is "close," but another former Met who is now with Toronto has heard that before.
"It was there from '09 through '12 and it was 'wait till next year, wait till next year,' " said catcher Josh Thole, who came to the Blue Jays in the R.A. Dickey, Travis d'Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard deal. "I always tell the guys: The hardest thing in the baseball world, in my opinion, is to play in New York for the Mets. No. 1, you have a bunch of young kids coming up. Every day, there's something. A story. Everything is a story there. So you can get caught up into that quickly. It's just a tough place to play. I would say it's been the hardest for David. He just signed that bangin' deal. It's just weird."
Wright signed an eight-year, $134-million contract extension before last season. Reyes left as a free agent without a formal offer from the Mets after winning the NL batting title in 2011. He signed a six-year, $106-million deal with the Marlins and was traded to Toronto after one season.
After their disappointing 2013, the Blue Jays made few changes in the offseason. Turned out that was the right (non) move.
"Last year, everybody was talking about the Blue Jays," Reyes said. " 'They're going to run away in the division.' And we finished in last place. This year, nobody talked about the Blue Jays and in June we're in first place. Coming into spring training, we said, 'Oh, man, we have the same guys that we had last year -- still a very good ballclub. On the field, let's make it happen.' "