Jose Reyes entered the final day of the regular season with .336 batting average, which was narrowly better than Ryan Braun’s .335. Since no New York Met has ever won a batting crown – shocking, I know; I could have sworn Howard Johnson or Kevin Elster nabbed one in the 80s – this apparently is VERY important to the franchise.
(And it is probably crucial to Reyes, too, since he’s going to be a free agent this summer and a batting crown will probably be worth at least a chapter in that binder Scott Boras is going to prepare for the Mets, Red Sox and whoever else wants the shortstop. [UPDATE: Reyes was supposed to leave his agent, Peter Greenberg, for Boras this summer. It didn’t happen.)
Reyes led off the first inning today with a bunt single – raising his average to .337 – and then he was promptly yanked for a pinch runner. Even Keith Hernandez, a Mets announcer, thought it was weak.
Mike Vaccaro of the NY Post nailed it: “Ted Williams just rolled over. And again. And again. And again …” Williams famously went 6-for-8 in a doubleheader on the final day of the season in 1941 to push his average from .39955 to .406.
If Ryan Braun goes 3-for-4 tonight for the Brewers against Pittsburgh – the Pirates are starting someone named Jeff Locke – the National League batting title is his. Just a guess, but there will be much laughter and derision at the Mets if Braun passes Reyes.