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Jose Reyes ex-mistress claims he lived “a double life”

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Last year Bartolo Colon made headlines when it was revealed that he was involved in a court case regarding child support for his “secret family.” Which is a tabloid-sensationalized way of referring to children he had with a mistress. Now his former teammate, Mets third baseman Jose Reyes, is getting some similar coverage about his so-called “double life.”

The story comes via the Daily News, who conducted an exclusive interview with a woman named Christina Sanchez, who had a six-year affair with Reyes, resulting in the birth of a daughter. Unlike Colon, who was alleged to have failed to support his out-of-wedlock children, Reyes has apparently paid support to Sanchez for years and a relationship with his daughter. Sanchez refers to herself and their daughter as Reyes’ “road family”:

According to Sanchez, who’s suing Reyes for a significant increase in child support, she and her daughter were Reyes’ “road family” while he raised a separate family back home during his tenure with the Mets, the Miami Marlins and the Toronto Blue Jays.

“We’d go to restaurants, go to games, go shopping, that was the life I was living,” Sanchez told the Daily News, saying that she now regrets that the affair went on as long it did. “It was a double life, but I wanted him to be a father of our child.”

The relationship came to an end, Sanchez, says, after Reyes’ arrest for domestic violence in late 2015. Reyes has apparently not seen his daughter with Sanchez since that time. Reyes has been paying $11,000 a month in child support. Sanchez wants that increased to $41,000 a month, claiming that she put her singing career on hold to raise their child while Reyes was, at best, a part time and now absent father. That’s a matter for the courts, of course. Reyes is making $22 million this year under the six-year, $105 million contract he signed with the Marlins before the 2011 season.

This sort of story is not exactly new in the world of baseball. From Reyes to Colon to Chipper Jones and, I am sure, scores if not hundreds of ballplayers going back to the Elysian Fields, the combination of a lot of time on the road, a lot of fame, a lot of money and, of course, youth and athleticism, has led many ballplayers into temptation and, eventually, trouble.

When the Colon story hit, I wrote a lot of words about how it’s a good idea to separate a player’s accomplishments on the field from their character and personal life. I certainly still believe that. To be sure, Reyes has certainly committed greater transgressions than this and, unlike Colon, at least he has been supporting his daughter.

Still: I’m guessing the last thing the Mets wanted were more headlines about Reyes due to off-the-field stuff. At least Colon had some goodwill and popularity to burn. Reyes was already a tough if not impossible sell to fans who want to believe the players they root for are good people. Now this.

Must-Click Link: Do the players even care about money anymore?

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Yesterday I wrote about how the union has come to find itself in the extraordinarily weak position it’s in. The upshot: their leadership and their membership, happily wealthy by virtue of gains realized in the 1970s-1990s, has chosen to focus on small, day-to-day, quality of life issues rather than big-picture financial issues. As a result, ownership has cleaned their clock in the past few Collective Bargaining Agreements. If the union is to ever get back the considerable amount of ground it has lost over the past 15 years, it’ll require a ton of hard work and perhaps drastic measures.

A few hours later, Yahoo’s Jeff Passan dropped an absolute must-read that expands on that topic. Through weeks of interviews with league officials, agents and players, he explains why the free agent market is as bad as it is for players right now and why so many of them and so many fans seem not to understand just how bad a spot the players are in, business wise.

Passan keys on the media’s credulousness regarding teams’ stated rationales for not spending in free agency. About how, with even a little bit of scrutiny, the “[Team] wants to get below the luxury tax” argument makes no sense. About how the claim that this is a weak free agent class, however true that may be, does not explain why so few players are being signed.  About how so few teams seem interested in actually competing and how fans, somehow, seem totally OK with it.

Passan makes a compelling argument, backed by multiple sources, that, even if there is a lot of money flowing around, the fundamental financial model of the game is broken. The young players are the most valuable but are paid pennies while players with 6-10 years service time are the least valuable yet are the ones, theoretically anyway, positioned to make the most money. The owners have figured it out. The union has dropped the ball as it has worried about, well, whatever the heck it is worried about. The killer passage on all of this is damning in this regard:

During the negotiations leading to the 2016 basic agreement that governs baseball, officials at MLB left bargaining stupefied almost on a daily basis. Something had changed at the MLBPA, and the league couldn’t help but beam at its good fortune: The core principle that for decades guided the union no longer seemed a priority.

“It was like they didn’t care about money anymore,” one league official said.

Personally, I don’t believe that they don’t care about money anymore. I think the union has simply dropped the ball on educating its membership about the business structure of the game and the stakes involved with any given rule in the CBA. I think that they either so not understand the financial implications of that to which they have agreed or are indifferent to them because they do not understand their scope and long term impact.

It’s a union’s job to educate its membership about the big issues that may escape any one member’s notice — like the long term effects of a decision about the luxury tax or amateur and international salary caps — and convince them that it’s worth fighting for. Does the MLBPA do that? Does it even try? If it hasn’t tried for the past couple of cycles and it suddenly starts to now, will there be a player civil war, with some not caring to jeopardize their short term well-being for the long term gain of the players who follow them?

If you care at all about the business and financial aspects of the game, Passan’s article is essential.