Yet, the last place status of April may never be erased, as Reyes piled on an already won game, declared by the NY Post to be its hero. It wasn't Bryce Harper homering off catcher Kevin Plawecki, but it came after he should have been benched.
The Post took to praising him.
Never mind that Michael Conforto, who would not have even made the team out of Spring training had it not been for injury, continues to lead the the Mets in hitting. Alderson could not have the hot bat Conforto playing over the million dollar and years long contracts his wisdom bestowed on others.
Never mind that Curtis Granderson's good night still does not erase last place status either.
Terry Collins had his best "I told you so" face on as the Mets teed off on a Braves nonexistent bullpen, putting a won-game into silly land, as did Washington to us a few days prior.
Last place teams do not need swagger, or dancing or social media. They can even be betrayed by the home run wins, lulled into complacency.
They need grit, determination, discipline and accountability.
They need an atmosphere that fights for every inch of territory out there; every base, every bit of pressure upon their opponents and a psychological edge that says, even after a win, "we have much more than this."
Jose Reyes' defense has been awful. He would have even more errors if not for generous scoring. Last night he arrogantly walked, he walked, not even strolled, with his usual indifference, to second base where he was promptly tagged out in a double play.
He sent out Reyes to third base, rather than sending a signal to Reyes, the vets and the young players:
"You give 100% here or you do not play.
You either live for team or we die together.
You are privileged to play a kids' game for millions; you owe everything to the game. Take a seat and think about that the next time you decide to not hustle or pay attention."
This message must be sent to all, no matter the age and no matter the salary.
To Reyes, the classic "Moneyball Reminder": "Just how many millions is Colorado paying you to play against them?"
When Addison Reed went face to face with Terry Collins, after being displeased pitching in the 7th rather than the 8th, Collins said, "my fault."
Keith Hernandez said, "Hmm, not necessary, you're the skipper."
'The manager is the boss and the rule is for all 25 players' Hernandez said.
This subordinate stance may be a "safe space" for millennial-age athletes but it only undermines strength in leadership. Yet, Gary Cohen countered Keith with "the expectations of today's young athletes..." being included in all managerial decisions. Gary was not advocating for it; he was making observations.
Players with big salaries who do not produce get to play.
Players tell the manager when and where they play.
Players choose when and where to slide.
Players decide which pop ups to run out.
Players decide which rules they will keep and which they will not.
Players who miss balls due to nonchalance and TV saturated publicity, receive no rebuke.
Anarchy may be fun to watch on low brow ESPN, but a winner, it does not build.
Baseball is the ultimate team sport. What one man does impacts the others.
When young players see a million dollar athlete so zoned on winning that nothing else matters, they fall in suit and it builds.
When players are coddled, excused and entitled, the results are long-term predictable.
It is not easy for any manager to bench a star player, but there is the time to not only put on the big-boy pants and do it, it is far better to establish strong lines of authority right from Spring Training.
For those who think players should not be under authority of a manager, I have two words:
Credit the win against the Braves for the Mets not buckling under the crushing defeat of Washington.
Moving forward, I would love to see a change in leadership or, in the least, a change in demeanor and players held responsible.
Had Reyes not heated up, we might have seen Amed Rosario, batting .400 in friendly skies of Vegas, make his debut.
We still may.