On the 70th anniversary of Ted Williams entering the final day of the season batting .400 (well, it was .3995 or something, so rounded up it was .400), Teddy Ballgame could have sat out the double-header to
maintain his .400 average but he chose not to. Instead, he played both games, went 6 for 8 and raised his average to .406.
Last night, Jose Reyes, entered the game with the lead in the NL Batting Title race. Reyes bunted for a single in the first inning and then told his manager to take him out of the game. Reyes was confident that the one hit would be enough to win him the batting title (he could have lost it if Ryan Braun went 3-4 instead of 0-4 later).
Reyes did win the NL Batting Title last night but did he really earn it? I say no.
Ted Williams, when asked why he played the final double-header instead of sitting it out basically said, “if I can’t hit .400 all season long then I don’t deserve it.” This shows why Williams is one of the greatest players in the game’s history and why Reyes is barely even liked by Mets fans and why even though he’s a better overall player than someone like Derek Jeter, everyone would take Jeter over Reyes on their team any day.
The batting title might look good for Reyes when he becomes a free agent this off-season and might get him some more money, but teams will know he got it by basically looking out for number one and not caring at all about his team and helping them win and teams don’t like non-team players. Reyes will still get paid and that’s just sad.
I don’t care that the Mets winning or losing the final game of the season meant nothing in the grand scheme of things, he basically quit to ensure his stats weren’t affected by playing more than he needed
Great players don’t play simply for their own stats, they play to win the game. This is why Jose Reyes, even with HOF-caliber talent, has never been and will never be considered a great player. If you’re curious why all the “best player in the game” lists are topped by players who haven’t played in 50+ years, this is one reason why. The players back then had a different mindset than the players today – Jose Reyes is just the latest example of it.