Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Eet's A Race! I Hope Reyes Wins!

Jose Reyes knows it.  Ryan Braun knows it.  Mets fan know it.  Even Rowan Atkinson knows it.

Even with the Mets not involved in a pennant race (although they can have plenty to say about it with this week's series against the Cardinals), there's a race involving a Met that should keep the fans' attention over the final week of the season.

Jose Reyes has led in the National League batting race for most of the season.  However, after Sunday's games, Milwaukee's Ryan Braun took his biggest lead in the race, going 3-for-4 to raise his average to .336, five points ahead of Reyes' .331 average.  But when Braun took an oh-fer last night, his average dipped to .333, opening the door for Reyes to retake the lead.

The Mets have never had a batting champion in their first half-century of existence.  In fact, prior to this year, no Met had ever led the batting race past September 3.  (John Olerud paced the NL in batting on September 3, 1998 before succumbing to Colorado's Larry Walker.  Olerud did become the first Met ever to finish second for the batting title.)

Jose Reyes might be playing his final games in New York.  In 2008, the Mets couldn't give their fans something to celebrate on the final day of the season.  The Shea Goodbye ceremonies were bittersweet once the Mets were eliminated by the Marlins as Brewers fans cheered their team's clinching of the wild card berth.

Three years later, it's the Mets that can close the season celebrating something while a Brewer finishes second.  It's not a playoff spot (Milwaukee pretty much has their second-ever full season division title wrapped up - they made the playoffs during the strike season of 1981, but that was as the division champion of the second half of the season.  Yeah, it was pretty quirky that year.) but it's something the Mets have never had before.

As Rowan Atkinson's character so eloquently stated in the movie Rat Race, "Eet's a race!"  Let's hope Jose Reyes can win.  The Mets and their fans need something to celebrate.

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