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no more handshakes for reyes??

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  • no more handshakes for reyes??

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - In addition to the Mets' championship dreams, a part of Jose Reyes' died on that final weekend at Shea Stadium. The fun part, the dancing part. Alas, it looks like the shortstop's celebratory handshakes, just like the one that turned the Marlins into maniacs during that doomed series, are now history.

    "I'm not even thinking about that," Reyes said Tuesday. "No more handshakes. People kept saying we got teams fired up when we did those handshakes, so now I want to focus more on baseball."

    That was a stunning remark coming from Reyes, who appears to have more fun on the field than anyone in the game. And the handshakes had become a signature move, with Reyes always developing a new one during spring training. They were elaborately choreographed, practiced often and unique to the Mets.

    But the shocking collapse to last season, and Reyes' prominent role in the club's downfall, has prompted the All-Star shortstop to rethink his antics by the on-deck circle. In what proved to be the defining moment of that infamous weekend, Reyes' hip-hop handshake with Lastings Milledge seemed to infuriate the Marlins, who later ignited a bench-clearing brawl that same afternoon and returned to rout the Mets on Sunday.

    The Marlins had nothing on their minds but tee times and fishing trips until they saw Reyes and Milledge dancing on the ashes of Florida's season. Soon after, catcher Miguel Olivo charged Reyes at third base, nearly taking his head off with a right hook, and the war of words continued in the clubhouse afterward.

    Just like that, the Mets had given the Marlins a reason to treat Game No. 162 like it was Game 7 of the World Series. Florida knocked out Tom Glavine in the first inning and kept the Mets out of the playoffs with an 8-1 victory that left permanent scars on the franchise. Really, who can blame Reyes if he doesn't feel much like partying after a funeral like that?

    "Nobody said anything to me, but it's because of what happened last year," Reyes said. "That's why I'm taking this year more seriously. In 2006, everybody loved [the handshakes], but now it's different. I'm going to enjoy the game, but I'm not going to do the handshakes with the guys. I don't want people to talk about that. I just want to play baseball. I want to take care of business on the field."

    In performing the autopsy on last year's Mets, there was more than one cause of death, but there was plenty of finger pointing at Reyes, who was accused of violating baseball's etiquette of not showing up the opposing team. Manager Willie Randolph tried to deflect that blame by downplaying the incident at the time, but there is some validity to that claim.

    New teammate Brian Schneider, who played for the Nationals last season, said he wasn't personally offended by Reyes' handshakes, but did hear angry rumblings from the opposing bench. "For some guys, it's all right if they do it in the dugout," Schneider said. "But if they do it outside ... sometimes people have a problem with it."

    When told that Reyes was thinking of killing the handshake this season, Billy Wagner was surprised, but understood.

    "All it does is bring more attention to yourself," Wagner said. "You want Jose to be Jose. Having fun is what he's about. You want him to get excited when he gets a big hit or steals a base. But sometimes too much of that blows it out of proportion and makes him a target. And that's the thing. You don't want to give the other team any reason to make it an issue. You want them to see you're here for business. The only time you have fun playing this game is when you're winning."

    Randolph and general manager Omar Minaya also were surprised that Reyes was curtailing the celebrations. Neither one had a problem with it, or said anything to Reyes about it.

    "I'm sure he might have heard people say that other teams were upset about it and it was too much," Randolph said. "But that's stuff that Jose doesn't think about. We don't think about it. When we're having fun, and the kids are expressing themselves, they're not thinking that they're showing anyone up. They don't even know someone is looking at them.

    "No one should be looking at them, really. The fans notice it, the media might see it, but if I'm on the other side, if I need to concern myself with that, your head's in the wrong place."

    Added Minaya: "I think the beauty of Jose is the joy that he plays with. But that's his decision. I would never encourage him not to do it. It's just that when things don't go well, people highlight stuff like that."

    Of course, the excitable Reyes could always change his mind, and who knows what will happen when he gets on the field. But for now, in spring training, Reyes will be practicing everything but his handshakes.

    "When people see me in the dugout, and they see me not smiling, they'll be saying, 'What's wrong with Jose?'" Reyes said. "Nothing. I'm just going to be more serious this year."
    Show me a guy who's afraid to look bad, and I'll show you a guy you can beat every time.

    -Lou Brock-

  • #2
    He can still do it. He just needs to play better and no one will care.
    "I'm happy for [Edwin Encarnacion] because this guy bleeds internally, big-time" -Dusty Baker

    "If on-base percentage is so important, then why don't they put it on the scoreboard?" -Jeff Francoeur

    "At the end of the day, the sun comes up and I still have a job" -Joba Chamberlain


    • #3
      Excitement comes from playing the game well. He does one well and the other will follow.


      • #4
        I'm gonna miss the handshakes
        NL Wild Card
        1999 2000

        NL East Division Champs
        1969 1973 1986 1988 2006

        National League Champs
        1969 1973 1986 2000

        World Champs
        1969 1986


        • #5
          I think its good that hes trying to mature (I loved the handshakes and everything, but it may have irritated some other teams a little too much)


          • #6
            Most Important Changes Since The Collapse

            1. Santana

            2. No more hand gyrations and hip slaping by a (hopefully) no longer imature player

            3. Ryan Church

            4. No more Mota

            5. Signs of spunk from Beltran

            6. Breathing room for Pelfry

            7. F-Mart is closer to arriving

            8. Maine is a year older and wiser

            9. Ollie is pumped from his arbitration win

            10. Tom Horrific is gone

            With the exception of Johan Santana joining the team, nothing is as important as Jose Reyes talking and acting like a mature ballplayer. We saw last year where the team is without him. As he goes, so goes the Mets.

            His handshake and celebration nonsence became obscene once the collapse was in full bloom. What went on in the Nationals game cost them a playoff spot.

            This promise of his is good news for all the Flushing Faithfull. Let him put his energy into winning the game, not having the hippest handshake. I want to believe that the impact of what this team did last year will have a long lasting impact insofar as they will never allow it to happen again. Never.

            He can have a good time on the field once the last out of the WS is recorded. We'll all be happy to flap our hands around like morons with him then !


            • #7

              Who cares? I love nothing more than seeing emotion from players.
              It makes them that much more real.

              Reyes should go back to his hand shakes and whatever it is that makes him tick.
              If the other team gets upset...then I got one piece of free advice. Don't give him an opportunity! Keep him off the bases!
              "After my fourth season I asked for $43,000 and General Manager Ed Barrow told me, 'Young man, do you realize Lou Gehrig, a 16-year-man, is playing for only $44,000?' I said, Mr. Barrow, there is only one answer to that - Mr. Gehrig is terribly underpaid."- Yankees outfielder Joe DiMaggio


              • #8
                Just because he's stopping with his excessive handshakes doesn't make him a mature player. It may be a step, but until he can move on after a call doesn't go his way instead of whining, he's still the same player he was last year.
                Defending NL East Champion's Philadelphia Phillies


                • #9
                  "but until he can move on after a call doesn't go his way instead of whining"

                  Mind citing exactly where this took place (and please don't say "in 2006" afterwards...)?
                  "They put me in the Hall of Fame? They must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel!"
                  -Eppa Rixey, upon learning of his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

                  Motafy (MO-ta-fy) vt. -fied, -fying 1. For a pitcher to melt down in a big game situation; to become like Guillermo Mota. 2. The transformation of a good pitcher into one of Guillermo Mota's caliber.


                  • #10
                    Reyes can do the handshake in the dugout to avoid infuriating other team, but it's nice to see Reyes being more business on the field than before. We need him to give 110% and not just about play and having fun. He can do that after Mets win the WS.


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