It was a risky player acquisition for any Major League team given the horrific and disturbing details that were part of media reports and Maui Police Department documents pertaining to the October 31, 2015 arrest of Jose Reyes in Hawaii.
According to Maui police, an argument between Reyes and his wife, Katherine Ramirez, at the Maui Four Seasons resort “turned physical and resulted in injuries” to her, and Hawaii News Now reported last year that Reyes grabbed Ramirez and shoved her into a glass door during the alleged incident. Maui PD said Ramirez was later transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center for further treatment. Reyes, who was still a member of the Rockies last year, was arrested on domestic abuse charges and at the time was ordered not to have any contact with Ramirez for three days.
But five months after the arrest, Reyes’ criminal case was dismissed without prejudice – meaning a case could be brought again in the future – after Ramirez refused to cooperate with prosecutors.
Despite one legal hurdle cleared, however, Reyes received a 52-game suspension from Major League Baseball for violating its domestic violence policy and the Rockies parted ways with the Dominican switch-hitter once his suspension was served.
“Oh yeah. Some of that stuff went through my head when I got released,” Reyes told the Daily News Tuesday at Citi Field on the eve of the NL Wild Card game between the Mets and Giants, when asked if he was worried no team would sign him after his June release from Colorado. “A lot of people said a lot of stuff. I don’t know if I’d even be playing baseball now. It was kind of tough for me.”
A reunion with the team Reyes began his career with came into focus after Mets manager Terry Collins received a phone call from general manager Sandy Alderson soon after Reyes’ release by the Rockies. Alderson was considering making a move for Reyes and wanted to get Collins’ opinion, given the baggage Reyes would be shouldering. Collins, who managed Reyes on the Mets in 2011, was in favor of bringing Reyes back to Flushing.
According to GM Sandy Alderson, Reyes has complied and continues to fufil his obligations – including therapy – set forth by Major League Baseball after his arrest.
“I met with (Reyes), and it wasn’t simply a one-hour, off-hand conversation, but in the context of having known him, having been in the organization for so many years, I do believe that he is a good person at heart, a good person who made a huge mistake,” Alderson said back in June. “A good person who deserves a second chance, with conditions.”
One of those conditions to Reyes signing with the Mets was to continue therapy mandated in MLB’s domestic violence policy. Alderson told The News Tuesday that there were several “stipulations” Reyes had to agree to comply with before signing with the club, and that those stipulations “have been honored” by the 33-year-old Reyes.
“And he continues to fulfill those conditions,” Alderson added. “We’ve been very happy with Jose across the board.”
Reyes is known to have complied with all the conditions outlined by MLB too, as they relate to players disciplined for having violated the domestic violence policy. Reyes has apologized repeatedly for his transgressions and said in June, “I deeply regret the incident.”
Kerry Glen, the Maui deputy prosecuting attorney who handled the Reyes case, and her supervisor, John Kim, said Tuesday that the Mets front office never reached out to Maui prosecutors about Reyes. Glen also said Reyes’ wife “has not contacted our office or returned to (Hawaii) to cooperate in further prosecution.”
Reyes, who ended the regular season with a .267 average, has mostly played third for the Mets after his buddy David Wright had season-ending neck surgery earlier this season. Reyes started 50 games at the hot corner and played 13 games at his traditional shortstop position (10 starts). Wright said Tuesday that Reyes has done an “excellent job” manning third, and that Reyes has a big clubhouse impact as well.
“He’s one of those guys, that not only what he’s done on the field, but character-wise what he’s brought to the clubhouse, he has that ability to bring energy and keep things loose when things aren’t going so well,” said Wright.
“I think that’s one of the reasons why when you’re riding that roller coaster and you’re down and the team’s down and you see how he goes about his business and how he acts, it brings a smile to your face and kind of makes everything even-keel over the long season. He’s produced at the plate, he’s produced in the field at a position that he hasn’t played much and he’s certainly brought a lot to the clubhouse.”
Ten years after he was one of the young sparks on a Mets playoff team that made it all the way to Game 7 of the NLCS, Reyes is getting a second chance at the postseason, after the Mets gave him a second chance with baseball.
“I speak from my heart and I appreciate that from Sandy and from (Mets chief operating officer) Jeff (Wilpon) to give me the new opportunity to be back home,” said Reyes.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News