Johan Santana vs. Jose Reyes
NEW YORK METS: The Return of Jose Reyes Was a Rather Uneventful....Event.
The Return of Jose Reyes was also.....underwhelming. The reason? Citi Field was more than half empty. A more representative response to Jose's return necessitated a much larger crowd than the one that ventured out Tuesday night. As fate would have it, the hype and anticipation of Jose's return to the Big Apple came and went without much of the bravado declared by many fans over the week leading up to the game.
But this is how it went down between the former Mets shortstop and the fans in attendance.
The evening started when Jose Reyes first popped out of the Marlins' dugout for pre-game stretching. Fans gathered by the left field tarp who noticed Jose first, immediately rendered cheers for the former Mets' shortstop. The booing followed within seconds to gain a fifty percent share of air space. During stretching and wind sprints, Jose engaged with the crowd while sporting his usual wide smile.
Then at about 6:56 p.m., without any forewarning; without any prepared PA announcement; without any request to turn our attention to the scoreboard; the video tribute to Jose Reyes commenced. The presentation was appropriately short. But the video itself lacked many of the images I personally retain of Jose Reyes. When the video tribute ended, there was a light spattering of cheers.
Before the call to Play Ball! - Jose Reyes stopped over to that left field line crowd, and spent a handsome amount of time signing autographs. From my vantage point, Jose was being received rather well.
In his first at-bat of the evening, he was both cheered and booed with more volume than during the pregame reception he recieved. When he drove a pitch off Johan Santana to the left-center field wall, there was a collective gasp from the crowd. A resounding cheer let out when Kirk Nieuwenhuis tracked down the fly.
With each ensuing Jose Reyes at-bat, the booing became louder. By his last at-bat of night, any cheering was mute. Boos rained. And Jose's night at the plate facing Johan Santana yielded no fruit, and just as well.
And that's all it really was. To be quite honest, aside from the Mets' win itself, the night, and reaction to Jose Reyes, was a mere fraction of the event Darryl Strawberry's return to Shea Stadium was.