New York Mets

Jose Reyes Is Gone, but New York Mets Might Be a Better Team Without Him

JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 27:  Shortstop Jose Reyes #7 of the Miami Marlins poses for photos during media day at Roger Dean Stadium on February 27, 2012 in Jupiter, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images
Harold FriendChief Writer IFebruary 28, 2012

The media and most New York Mets fans are lamenting the departure of Jose Reyes. It may be much  better than it seems.

Exactly what did the Mets win with Reyes at shortstop? The answer is one NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006.

In 2007 and again in 2008, Reyes was the shortstop when the Mets collapsed during the each season's final days.

In 2007, the Mets lost six of their seven final games to hand the Philadelphia Phillies the NL East division title. In September, Reyes batted .205 with a .279 on-base percentage. His failure was viewed as a key reason the Mets failed.

In 2008, the Mets had led the NL East by seven games with 17 to play before they went 5-12 to end the season. The Phillies "won" their second consecutive division title.

When the Mets had little chance of winning anything, Reyes led the league in batting.

One of the best examples of the media and fans being deeply distressed by the departure of a team's best player are the Seattle Mariners.

For the 1999 season, Randy Johnson bid a fond farewell to Seattle. They won 79 games in 1999 without Johnson.

For the 2000 season, the Mariners lost the services of Ken Griffey Jr., whom many considered even better than Alex Rodriguez at the time. They won 91 games without Griffey Jr. and Johnson in 2000.

For the 2001 season, A-Rod, who batted .316/.420/.606 with 41 home runs, left Seattle for Texas and Tom Hicks' $252 million.

In 2001, the first season the Mariners were without all three superstars, they won a record 116 games.

Not having Reyes and Carlos Beltran in 2012 is not as bad as losing Johnson, Griffey Jr. and Rodriguez in consecutive seasons.

Ruben Tejada is 22 years old. He has fine potential. Johan Santana and Ike Davis are returning. Andres Torres helped the San Francisco Giants win a World Series.

If Seattle could win 116 games, why can't the Mets win 90?

Okay, 88.

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