Mets shortstop Jose Reyes arrived in Port St. Lucie today and responded to Cole Hamels "choke artist” comment, which was made Dec. 11 on New York's WFAN radio.
“We don’t worry about Philly,” Reyes said. “I don’t know why they worry so much about the New York Mets. They can talk about whatever they want to, because we worry about us. They are the one to win the World Series, not us, and we don’t say nothing about them. We just say congratulations to the Phillies. We focus on them when we play them, but they always seem like they’re talking something about us, and I don’t know why.”
Meanwhile, reporters continued their line of Phillies-related questioning, asking Reyes chime in on the Phils' alleged criticism of his celebrations.
“I heard that. I don’t know why they say that, because I’m not the only one pimpin’ when I hit a home run. A lot of people do that. People from Philadelphia, too. They stand for a couple of seconds at home plate and nobody say nothing. So like I said, I don’t know why they’re so focused on us. We just worry about us.”
Beerleaguer: That’s true, about the pimpin'. Howard does it, and Victorino has irritating qualities. But I'm unaware of any specific player criticism leveled at Reyes. If there was, it would be no great shock. Reyes is seen around the league as a player of low character. Great player - dangerous player - one of my top five most feared players - but that's how it is. What Reyes probably doesn’t know is that the celebration question stems from Game 2 of the NLDS, when an unnamed teammate posted a photo of Shane Victorino, rounding the bases and pointing toward the sky, on Vic's locker with the words "Jose Reyes" on it. The message was clear. Don't behave like a crumb.
What's this constant need to generate bulletin board material? It's cheapened a great rivalry that developed naturally. At this stage, it has to be coming from the New York media. I can't imagine that the Mets arrive in camp thinking about anything other than getting themselves physically prepared for the season. The barbs aren't coming from Philadelphia this time. The Phils are on top. No bulletin board material needed. The Hamels issue is even more bogus. (Hamels on the cover of Sports Illustrated BTW). Hamels was baited into making the comment as an invited guest on WFAN radio, and all he did was repeat what Mets fans and players had uttered the past two years.
This idea that Philadelphia, and the rest of the country for that matter, is obsessed with New York is a byproduct of the volume of coverage the New York teams receive, largely from New York-based enterprises. And there's an inflated sense of self worth that stems from this. From Metsblog: "it seems as if they enjoy more rooting against new york teams than rooting for their own teams…philly really needs to get over their inferiority complex, and as reyes says, worry about themselves ..."