Like every other Mets fan, I was shocked, rendered speechless, and left completely unable to do my job when the news about Jose Reyes broke today around 1 PM. After being told for the last 48 hours that Reyes would be back at Camp and playing in games within the next few days, the news that he would be out for 2 to 8 weeks was extremely unnerving - especially for a fanbase still picking off the scabs of the 2009 campaign.
Everyone wanted to know why other people with conditions similar to Reyes get treated with some type of medication, and go back to their their regular routine within days. The fact that Reyes' agents were calling this a "best case scenario" was puzzling. To us, the "best case scenario" would've meant Jose Reyes getting on a plane this afternoon, returning to Pt. St Lucie, and playing in a game or two this weekend. The fact that Omar Minaya touted the Alex Cora signing as some sort of saving grace pretty much sapped any sanity I had left - but then I calmed down.
Realistically - not in the baseball World, but for Jose Reyes the person - today's news was the best case scenario. The results of the blood tests Reyes took could've brought far worse news. They could've shown that he had Thyroid Cancer, a tumor, or another serious condition. What they revealed, was that his thyroid levels were high, and that he would rest and watch his diet until they normalized. Once the levels normalize (in as little as 2 weeks, and as many as 8 weeks), Reyes will be cleared to play baseball again.
We all hope that Reyes is cleared to play in 2 weeks - and he very well may be. After the almost unfathomable rash of injuries the Mets dealt with last season, and the way the timetables for the players' eventual returns became running jokes, one would think that the Mets may have elongated the potential timeframe for Reyes' return, leaving them some wiggle room if some things don't go perfectly along the way. And, if that's the case, so be it. The way it's been told, Jose Reyes will be cleared to play ball sometime between March 25th and May 6th. Again, hopefully it's as early as possible.
While the news that Jose Reyes would most likely not be ready for Opening Day was extremely tough to take at first, it isn't a terrible thing. An unfortunate thing, no doubt, but not terrible. And not something that this team can't overcome. This isn't an injury, it's a medical situation. It's not something that was bungled by the Mets and/or the Doctor's, it's something that's being handled with care. By the time I'm finished writing this, the rest of the Mets fans who were rapidly approaching meltdown mode this afternoon will hopefully start to see that this is something the Mets, and more importantly, Jose, will get through.
Since the Mets' pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training nearly a month ago, I've been counting down the days to Opening Day. Whenever the clock passes Midnight, I calculate how many days are left until the Mets return to us...29...28...27...26. Today was day 25, and as the last bits of snow melted and we prepared to turn the clocks ahead, I could feel baseball season getting closer. Me and 3 of my friends have already taken off for Opening Day. We'll be in the parking lot at Citi Field by 10AM on the morning of April 5th, with our gloves on one hand and our drinks in the other. The excitement is there, but it was almost lost this afternoon.
After I took a step back and examined the grand scope of what went on, and understood that Jose Reyes would indeed be OK, everything returned to normal. That is not to say that I and tons of other Mets fans are taking Mets baseball any less seriously. The fact that everyone initially reacted how they did this afternoon should really make us all smile. It's March 11th, and thousands upon thousands of Mets fans were rendered useless to their jobs, wives, girlfriends and whoever else because news broke that Jose Reyes may not be ready for Opening Day. That's how much we care about the Mets. Enough to let news like that immobolize us.
But what makes Mets fans even more special, is how in the midst of the craziness that was this afternoon, we became resilient - together. This franchise and its fans have been forced to deal with so much nonsense over the last year, and now is not the time to put our heads down and give up. Articles will come out tomorrow declaring that the Mets' season is doomed - even though Jose Reyes really shouldn't miss that much time. Irrational people who claim to be die hard Mets fans will call talk radio and surrender. The real Mets fans? We'll shake this off, wish Jose Reyes a speedy recovery, and resume the countdown to Opening Day.