Jose Reyes

Jose Reyes does not want to negotiate with the Mets during the season

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This morning we saw the shocking — shocking! — news that a player approaching free agency wants $X, and his team wants to pay him something less than $X.  That’s Jose Reyes and the Mets, in case you didn’t know.

Perhaps because he’s felt this all along and perhaps he realized that stories like this morning’s story will persist for the next several months if he doesn’t do anything to stop it, Reyes said today that he does not want to negotiate with the Mets about a contract extension during the season. This is the smart play for Reyes because any contract chatter does little to actually help Reyes while he’s with the Mets.

Given the year he’s having, he’d be better off hitting the market and letting the bidding go high.  And even if he’s inclined to stay with the Mets, in-season negotiations would just lead to someone friendly to the team whispering to the press that Reyes is being greedy or unrealistic or something in the event that no easy agreement was reached. And given the Mets’ financial straits and Fred Wilpon’s comments in that New Yorker article there won’t be.

So a smart play by Reyes: let the possibilities of him being traded or not be the Mets problem, and let the market for his services after 2011 take care of itself when that market becomes mature next fall. Everything else would just lead to bigger headaches.

“La Vida Baseball,” celebrating Latino baseball, launches

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A new website has launched. It’s called “La Vida Baseball,” and it’s all about celebrating the past, present and future of Latino baseball from a Latino perspective.

The site, produced in partnership with the Hall of Fame, has four general areas of focus:

  • Who’s Now: Focusing on current Latino players;
  • Who’s Next: Focusing on top prospects here, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America;
  • Our Life: Off-the-Field stuff, including player’s lives, lifestyles and hobbies; and
  • Our Legends: Focusing on Latino baseball history, Hall of Famers and overlooked players.

As the site has just launched there aren’t yet a ton of stories up there, but there is one about Roberto Clemente, another about Felix Hernandez and some other stuff.

The site is much-needed. Baseball reporters for American outlets are overwhelmingly white, non-Spanish speakers. Reporters, who, generally, gravitate to the players who are the most like they are. Which is understandable on some level. When you’re writing stories about people you need to be able to communicate with them and relate to them on more than a mere perfunctory level. As such, no matter how good the intentions of baseball media, we tend to see the clubhouse and the culture of baseball from a distinctly American perspective. And we tend to paint Latino players with a broad, broad brush.

La Vida Baseball will, hopefully, remedy all of that and will, hopefully, give us a fresh and insightful depiction Latino players and their culture.

 

David Ross to compete on “Dancing with the Stars”

David Ross
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Do you miss David Ross? I miss David Ross. The season hasn’t even started yet and I miss David Ross. There’s something comforting about having a likable graybeard catcher in the game with bonus points for being bald. His loss will be felt.

But while we won’t have David Ross in baseball all this year — at least on the field; he’s a special assistant with the Cubs — we’ll still have David Ross someplace:

Johnny Damon did “Celebrity Apprentice” — Trump fired him, sadly — but we’ve never had a ballplayer on “Dancing With The Stars.” There have been several football players and some Olympians, but no baseball guys. Which makes some amount of sense as, outside of the middle infielders and first basemen, footwork isn’t necessarily the most important tool.

Catchers are particularly plodding for athletes, so good luck, David. Unless you have some moves you haven’t flashed in the past, you’ll probably need it.