It Will Be a Long Season for Mets Without Jose Reyes: A Fan's Take

The New York Mets are beginning season number 51, and I think it will be a disaster.

They will miss their dynamic but injury-prone shortstop Jose Reyes , who became a free agent and signed with the Miami Marlins. According to media reports, the Mets never made a serious attempt to re-sign the player who was called the "heart and soul "of the club. During his nine years with the Mets, Reyes batted .292 and had a .441 slugging percentage. Equally important was that he has always been in the top 10 in stolen bases, making him more likely to score.

I think that the failure by the Mets to keep Reyes will rank among the four worst personnel moves ever.

Can you imagine how much better the Mets might have played had they kept the following three players?

Hall-of-Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan was a star prospect with the Mets organization from 1966-1971, before they traded him to the California Angeles. Ryan went on to pitch for another 22 seasons, playing for the Angels, Houston Astros, and Texas Rangers, pitching seven no-hitters, winning an additional 295 games, striking out 5,521 more batters, and becoming the only pitcher in history to strike out the side on nine pitches in each league.

Mets GM John Murphy called Amos Otis "untouchable". Those words proved to be the kiss of death because the next season, Otis was traded to the Kansas City Royals. He became their starting center fielder, was named to the All-Star team five times, won four Gold Glove Awards, and finished with a .277 life-time batting average. The fans loved him and called him "AO".

Jeff Kent is another example of Mets management misjudging talent, although in this case, the player's lack of maturity may have contributed to the trade. Kent was with the team from 1993 through 1995 and part of 1996, and he batted a very respectable .279, with 67 homers and 267 RBIs. Kent did have a reputation for being an intense player who did not always have a great relationship with his teammates. However, after being traded to the Giants, he batted just shy of .300 and won the MVP in 2000. There is no doubt in my mind that if the Mets had better management, Kent would have flourished here.

Unfortunately, history must play itself out to determine if Reyes belongs in this list

Morris is a native New Yorker who has suffered with the Mets since their first game at the Polo Grounds. Among his fondest memories is the line drive Mookie hit past Billy Buckner!