Friday, July 4, 2008

Fisticuffs and Shenanigans!

Hacky Intro Alert: as our great nation prepares to celebrate its independence today, the real fireworks were going off on the Mets' team plane.

I'm sorry, I had to do it.

So Jose Reyes and Keith Hernandez nearly came to blows on the team plane last week, as the New York Post is breathlessly reporting today. Neither Mex nor Reyes denied that a confrontation took place in print, so I'll go on the assumption that this silly showdown really did take place.

My thoughts: I've always thought that it was a punk move for players to go after media types because they don't like what's being said or written about them. This looks like a punk move by Reyes, getting tough with a man 30 years older than him, who rightly called him out on his unprofessional behavior. Reyes is acting like a baby, both on the field when he has temper tantrums and off the field when he's confronting broadcasters.

I think Reyes is an amazing talent and I love to watch him play the game. I don't think the Mets should trade him or anything crazy like that, but I do think there's an unprofessional streak in him that needs to be toned down. Forget about the dancing and the elaborate hand routines; it's silly, but it doesn't bother me. I'm more concerned with on-field behavior, like getting picked off second base twice this season in ridiculous fashion or some of his stolen base attempts that serve no purpose other than to pad stats. His behavior Sunday, when he threw his glove down like he was having a Tanner Boyle hissy fit, made me angry and I was glad Hernandez called him out on it.

Since I am a blogger and not a journalist, there isn't the same stigma attached to reporting third-hand stories without ever checking attribution. So please take the next paragraph or two with a *huge* grain of salt, as I've never even met the person who allegedly heard the exchange I'm about to share.

We all come across apocryphal stories about off-the-field shenanigans of our favorite players. The best one I've heard is the story of how Bobby Ojeda really detached his middle finger in the heat of the 1988 pennant race. About three weeks ago, a friend told me via e-mail about a story relayed to him involving Mex being disturbed by Reyes's behavior around the team and went so far as to call him a "clubhouse cancer."

I initially dismissed the story when I heard it - I had no reason to believe my friend lied when he told it to me, but I also had no reason to believe HIS friend wasn't lying when he told the story either. I have to admit though, reading the newspaper about the confrontation today, I have to wonder if there was more truth to the tale that I originally believed.

That's it for me: go to a barbeque and have some fun today. Remember that July 4 marks the first step of this country's battle to throw off the oppressive yoke of England and that it took us only five years to finally do so. Ireland has worn England's yoke for a millennium and still has not been able to break free.

So if you meet an Irish guy in your travels today, remind him of these simple facts and ask him what the hell is taking his country so long to follow America's lead. Tiocadh ar la!

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