Does that title catch your attention? Help give you some incentive to click on the link and see what the heck I might be talking about? Were you thinking, “C’mon, after what just happened, Jose Reyes perfect example, really?” If that was your thought, and it is part of the reason you are reading this, then good!!!
You see, that perfect example the title refers to is not meant to be anything positive. On the contrary, it is a sarcastic statement in the truest sense of the word, and it is laser-focused on NY Mets ballplayer Jose Reyes’ decision to have himself pulled from last Wednesday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds.
So why did Reyes, an All-Star shortstop, ask to be removed? He must have been injured, or hurting in some way, for an athlete of his caliber to actually request removal, right?
Nope, that’s not it.
How about the self-sacrificing act of giving up his spot in the lineup for the night so that a rookie, a new kid on the block, would have a chance to get into his first major league game since they were beating up on the Reds so handily?
Nope, also incorrect.
Hmm, let’s see. Could it be that Mr. Reyes wanted to increase his chances, possibly solidify, winning the National League batting crown by removing any risk that his batting average might drop if he was not successful during his remaining at- bats. A completely selfish and egotistical act that demonstrates a real loss of perspective and self-centered “winning” (batting title) type attitude that give true meaning to the statement “hey man, this is all about me.”
DING, you’re a winner!!!
And what did Reyes have to say about the “criticism” he received after such an act?
"I don't care what people say. Last year I played seven innings, and in the seventh inning I came out of the game -- the last game. I don't care what people think. I was happy." (ESPNNewYork.com)
Talk about not “honoring the game,” geez. How can anyone feel good about “winning” anything if they haven’t totally competed for that win? I mean, did you really win anything?
Personally, I like the statement quoted by Ted Williams, in that same ESPNNewYork.com article (by Adam Rubin) link above, when he was faced with a slightly different batting average milestone. In this scenario, Mr. Williams faced playing in a double header, at the end of the season, with his batting average hovering around that magic .400 mark. His decision to play, and risk not reaching that milestone, was followed by this statement:
"If I'm going to be a .400 hitter, I'm going to be a .400 hitter all the way,"
Now that is how you bring honor to yourself and your team, as well as to the game.