How does one dim the bright lights on the biggest stage in Major League Baseball in New York City? All the while in the midst of the worst slump of your career? Sure, mechanics have a little something to do with it but so does concentration and the lingering thought of an ex-mistress suing you in order to increase child support perhaps? This is what Christina Sanchez, Jose Reyes’ ex-mistress for more than seven years, is claiming while she says he abandoned her and their seven-year-old daughter.
While Reyes continues to struggle, we in the media continue to try to uncover answers as to why, why is this player that’s been so good, consistently a spark plug in a New York Mets uniform struggling? In a recent interview with The New York Daily News, Brian Niemietz shares Sanchez’s feelings on the matter. Sanchez says, “”When you’re a father you’re going to have something in the back of your mind bugging you. You have to be broken inside to shun your own flesh and blood. If he does the right thing… we all make mistakes, I apologize to his wife, I as a woman want to apologize to another woman for what I did. But he hurt both of us.” (NY Daily News) Sanchez doesn’t hold back on Reyes, she also states that he hasn’t seen his daughter since Christmas 2015. Anyone could certainly understand a human being fighting his own inner demons while trying to perform and succeed in arguably the most difficult of the professional sports.
The official numbers thus far are eye cringing and I advise those of you with weak baseball statistical stomachs to look away now, three hits in thirty-eight at bats with eleven strikeouts. Alright, it’s over now you can look again. The initial blow came when Manager Terry Collins bumped Jose down to the 7th slot in the batting order. Thursday night was the latest setback to the early season for the Mets third baseman as he was benched in favor of T.J. Rivera. Reyes entered midway through the game as a pinch hitter and was able to collect that third hit of the season. Rivera exited the game early and with Wilmer Flores hitting the ball the way he is, it’ll be interesting to see what Collins elects to do with his once electric lead-off hitter.
People often hold professional athletes to an extremely high standard, liking them to emotionless robots that should perform under any circumstance because of the amount of money they make from playing a game. What the pundits don’t always realize when criticizing is that these players are in fact human, they have emotions, problems, and lives outside of the game. People who are in a position to observe and analyze and are provided with a platform in which to share their opinions, who haven’t played the game generally can’t empathize as well with how truly difficult that situation is. Is this what Jose Reyes is dealing with right now that’s causing him to struggle and now press? Only Jose knows that but if that’s the case we’re all in no place to judge and hope that he figures out this real life situation that he’s facing because this is bigger than the game of baseball for him. This is his life.