In watching a “Baseball Tonight” rerun this afternoon on ESPN, I learned that Jose Reyes has become the first non-outfielder since 1900 to record three straight seasons of 60+ stolen bases. Reyes stole his 59th and 60th bases of the season Thursday night against Tony Armas and the hapless Pittsburgh Pirates. I was initially floored by this statistic. However, some of the awe was soon diminished because ESPN followed up “Baseball Tonight” with the World Sport Stacking Championships…now instead of being awe-inspired and motivated by Reyes, I’m depressed by kids who resort to stacking cups as a competitive hobby. Still, if you manage to look past the Sport Stacking Championships and put Reyes’ record into context, the feat is damn-near unbelievable:
- Reyes is the first infielder in 107 years to steal 60+ bases in three consecutive seasons. Not even Hall of Famer/perpetual speedster Joe Morgan accomplished the feat.
- The Mets had to all but teach Jose Reyes how to run differently after he strained his hamstring on three seperate occasions over the course of 2004.
- Rickey Henderson just recently joined the Mets coaching staff. Think Reyes’ best years are behind him? Umm, no.
It’s hard to deny (trust me, I’ve tried) that Reyes is one of the most promising baseball talents in the league. He has an arm like a canon and a frightening amount of power in a small frame. And let us not forget, he can go first-to-home faster than a 12-year old can stack a bunch of cups.