Jose’s Thyroid and DJ♥’s IntangiblesBy: TimMcCarver
We have less than two weeks until opening day, which means it is still spring training and the Grapefruit and Cactus League races are coming down to the wire. But more importantly it means that every team, no matter how Jeteresque or wretched or extinct, can dream about the World Series…except for the Mets.
The Mets’ 2010 fate is inextricably tied to Jose Reyes’ rapidly failing thyroid. Jose Reyes is the Most Exciting Player in Baseball™. That means he steals a lot of bases and hits a lot of triples, the Most Exciting Play in Baseball™, excluding of course, this catch and this flip.
But without his thyroid, Jose Reyes is Luis Castillo. This is kind of strange, because when we think of thyroid problems, we don’t think of boyishly handsome shortstops with endearingly funny Dominican accents. We think of a heavyset woman drinking a diet Coke and walking out of O.C.B. while promising that she’ll finally start that diet next week. And speaking of Old Country Buffet, the Mets’ 2009 injury plague was a decimation not seen since Rick Majerus walked into an O.C.B.
If the 2010 Mets don’t want to have an abortion of a season like the 2009 Mets or Rick Pitino’s 2010 Louisville team, they need their talented third baseman and shortstop to play like this guy and this guy. Jose Reyes is talented, but talent is only a small part of being a great player. To be a great New York ballplayer, you need to help your team win with poise and intangibles (and, for the record, it takes DJ♥-esque intangibles to pull off that GQ picture spread. We can all agree that Wright and Reyes didn’t pull it off).
Derek Jeter, Captain Intangible, is the captain, and he plays every day, even when he’s hurt, and that has a trickledown effect on his teammates (and I might add, DJ♥ has a trickledown effect on my knees). In a very real sense, every Texeira homerun and C.C. strikeout is a direct result of Derek Jeter. DJ♥ shared his Intangible Juice with A-Rod last year; that’s why A-Rod learned how to clutch hit in the postseason. Before that, A-Rod needed a different kind of juice to hit homeruns in regular season blowouts.
If the Mets want to win, David Wright might need to borrow some of A-Rod’s homerun hitting juice. And if Jose Reyes ever wants to fix his thyroid problem, he’ll need to trade in all those diet Cokes for some of DJ♥’s Intangible Juice. Otherwise, when it rains, the infield grass will be wet on ground balls, and Reyes really won’t be able to field those slow rollers.
Update: Reyes’ thyroid is all better. Thanks go out to Derek Jeter’s Intangibles!
Tim McCarver is a former Major League baseball catcher, and a current sportscaster for Fox Sports. During the off-season he resides in Maine, where he plays the open mic every Wednesday at Roscoe’s Rocking Railroad Buffet, where it’s “all-aboard” for reasonably priced entertainment.