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.