After serving a 52-game suspension for domestic violence, Jose Reyes is hoping for a second chance in every sense of the word. The 33-year-old Reyes, now playing for the Brooklyn Cyclones in the Mets’ organization, repeatedly apologized this past weekend for his actions.
“I was impressed with the way he handled it,” New York Daily News MLB columnist John Harper said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “Some guys in these situations might read a statement, they might look they’ve been coached and kind of stay on message with certain things. I thought he handled it off the cuff and as forthrightly as you would want a guy in that situation. It seemed to be genuine. Obviously he’s going to say certain things because he wants to play and restore his image and all that stuff, and so you’re never sure. But as far as you can tell, I thought he came off well. He handled things the right way.”
Reyes led off the bottom of the first inning this past weekend for the Cyclones and received chants of “Jose! Jose! Jose!” that he often heard while playing for the Mets from 2003 to 2011. It was a nice moment for Reyes, but he understands it doesn’t absolve him of what happened.
“The crowd was cheering for him and everything else, (but) he still has the perspective of, ‘Hey, I made a terrible mistake, and people have the right to be upset with me. I understand that,’” Harper said. “So it’s not like the cheers suddenly made everything right for him. He understands it’s bigger than that. Obviously it doesn’t make anything right, what he did. But it gives you a feeling that he understands the magnitude of it.”
Reyes was arrested on Oct. 31 and accused of assaulting his wife, Katherine. Charges were dropped, but MLB still suspended Reyes for 52 games.
“I actually think he didn’t get enough of a suspension,” Harper said. “At the time it happened, I thought baseball should have taken the hardest stance possible. I think giving him half the season (would have been fine). But I also don’t think you can deny a guy the right to work. He’s making his millions no matter what, but I think he has the right to work. I don’t think it’s the Mets’ responsibility necessarily to take a stand here. They’re trying to win games. They both need to do the right thing here. That means not just give lip service. For Reyes, I think it means being out there, speaking to youth groups or whatever and trying to educate kids to make them understand this does have to come to an end. I think the Mets should be out there making donations to groups and agencies that care for battered women. Do as much as possible to make it right. But I can’t blame the Mets (for giving Reyes another chance). They’re paying him a minimum salary. But in the long run, I think it can be a good deal for both of them, as long as they don’t forget (what happened and what he did).”