Which is a more significant development: Jose Reyes playing with a smile or Carlos Beltran telling him to flash the pearly whites again?
Reyes is hitting again, but the last two games heâ€™s also loosening up â€“ at Beltranâ€™s urging. The dancing and homer handshakes are back.
During spring training Reyes said he took responsibility for the Metsâ€™ collapse and admitted to being sensitive to the criticism that came from opposing dugouts. The Florida Marlins said they played with fire in the season finale after watching Reyes celebrate the say before.
For the first two weeks of the season Reyes played with handcuffs on his personality and Beltran thought it carried over to his performance.
“I think he missed himself,’’ Beltran said. “I think we missed him, too. We like what he does. He’s not trying to offend anybody. And if they are offended, we can’t worry about that. He should be himself and the person we need him to be.â€™â€™
Did Reyes homer because Beltran talked with him? Probably not, but if he the encouragement from a teammate made him feel comfortable again, then who is to say?
“Did what he said make me hit a home run?” asked Reyes. “I don’t know. Maybe. I feel like myself. I know I do. â€¦ He told me I was fake. Not the real Jose Reyes. That’s what he saw. He said, ‘You make everybody better when you do what you do best.â€™ â€™â€™
I think Reyes is too good a player and would have broken out eventually. What I like here is Beltran taking charge, and this comes on the heels of his “weâ€™re the team to beat,â€™â€™ comment in spring training.
What do you think is the more important development?