Friday, August 19, 2005

Young Master Duke

It says something about my love of baseball that a night at Shea which includes a rather lengthy performance of Pakistani music followed by the sight of my beloved Mets getting thoroughly mystified by a 22 year-old could still be so enjoyable.

Pittsburgh phenom Zach Duke carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning, Jose Castillo had two doubles (both times getting greedy and hosed at third), Brad Eldred took V. Zambrano deep, even Ryan Doumit went 3-4. It was generally an embarrassing night for the home team.

Can I get something off my chest? The next time Fran Healy tells me how "exciting" a player Jose Reyes is, I'm going to put my head through my television screen.

He's not the only one saying it, either. Chris Russo has spoken highly of him recently and declared he's less and less interested about Reyes's OBP, as if he was that interested to begin with. Even the usually sensible Gary Cohen is developing a little bit of a crush on our little speedster's hit (138), steal (42), and run (72) totals.

I'm going to make my position on this as clear as possible: If you're a leadoff hitter, and you only reach base 29.4% of the time, you are crippling your team. There's nothing quite as unexciting a 1-2-3 inning, and batting Reyes leadoff is just about the best way to go about it.

I don't care how many hits he's racked up (through constant, mostly powerless hacking), bases he's stolen, or runs he's personally scored. It's not enough to make up for the veritable torrent of outs he's making. When he does something productive, yes it's exciting. But mostly what excites me is my favorite team scoring runs and winning games, and Reyes isn't producing nearly enough.


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