Jose Reyes’ send-off was smaller, more modest, though David Wright certainly didn’t mind sharing any limelight.
Reyes got to bat leadoff, which he loves. He got to play shortstop for a few innings. He got to hug his friend goodbye.
For a player with a tempestuous relationship with this fan base — the waning production, leaving for the Marlins, and most notably, the domestic-violence arrest — the farewell was appropriately subdued. But this probably is the end of Reyes’ time in a Mets uniform — there’s certainly no guarantee that he’ll play Sunday — so perhaps in tribute to the player he once was, fans busted out the “Jose, Jose, Jose” chant when he came up to bat during Saturday night’s game against the Marlins.
In a moment of detente — one that lasted the whole game — it seemed everyone in the sellout crowd simultaneously agreed to pretend it was 2007 again and everything was fine. When Reyes and Wright turned to each other, they almost always laughed, as if not believing they got to do this one more time. The Mets even played his old walk-up music, “Chacarron,” as he and Wright played catch before the game. And maybe swept up in the nostalgia, Reyes did a very retro Reyes thing: He doubled to lead off the game. Later, when a segment on the scoreboard asked fans who their favorite player was, the last image was of a grinning Reyes, saying “My favorite player is David Wright” while he gave a thumbs up.
“He was really excited,” Mickey Callaway said when asked how Reyes felt about batting leadoff — a spot he used to own but now can’t afford to rent. “When we told him, he had the biggest smile I’ve ever seen him have, and he smiles every single day. He’s excited. He deserves this and it’s going to be a good send-off for him as well.”
Nimmo hurt. Brandon Nimmo appeared to injure his right hamstring while legging out a single to lead off the seventh. Nimmo singled to right, and as he made the turn at first, he pulled up and grabbed his hamstring. He had to be helped off the field.