FanDuel - WFBC

September 29, 2011

Jose Reyes Pulls Self from Game, Wins NL Batting Title: After getting a hit in his first at-bat Wednesday, New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes asked out of the game because his .337 batting average was in first by .002. Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun could have caught him with three hits but fell short at .332. "I said, 'If I go 1-for-1, take me out of the game,'" Reyes said. "And I did that. If I went 0-for-1, maybe I'm still in the game until I get a hit."

posted by rcade to baseball at 01:05 AM - 30 comments

Not a big fan of taking yourself out of a game, would have been great had Braun caught him.

Given that the game did not have playoff implications, I'm over it.

posted by dviking at 01:19 AM on September 29

ESPN

The decision to pull Reyes comes on the 70th anniversary of Ted Williams' deicision to play in a doubleheader on the final day of the regular season in 1941 even though his .39955 average would have been rounded up to .400.

"If I'm going to be a .400 hitter, I'm going to be a .400 hitter all the way," Williams was quoted as saying at the time.

Williams went 6-for-8 in the twin bill to up his average to .406.

posted by justgary at 01:28 AM on September 29

Geoffrey Boycott, anyone?

posted by owlhouse at 02:05 AM on September 29

Players aren't supposed to care about such things and all that. They should all be like Williams, but in reality, being a batting champion matters a lot more than finishing out a meaningless game.

posted by bperk at 06:05 AM on September 29

I'm not too surprised Reyes pulled himself out, but I am surprised he's being so forthright about it.

I was curious about whether his decision made sense numerically.

If Reyes went ...

1 for 1: .3371

1 for 2: .3364

1 for 3: .3358

1 for 4: .3352

If Braun went ...

0 for 4: .3321

1 for 4: .3339

2 for 4: .3357

3 for 4: .3375

4 for 4: .3392

Once Reyes got his first hit, it didn't matter if he got two more at bats without a hit. Braun still had to go 3 for 4 to beat him. But if he went 1 for 4, Braun just needed two hits to beat him.

If Braun sat himself early, he needed to go 2 for 2 to beat Reyes going 1 for 3 or 1 for 2 and 1 for 1 to beat him going 1 for 4 ...

1 for 1: .3357

2 for 2: .3368

3 for 3: .3381

The only way Reyes could assure himself of winning the title if Braun began with two hits later that day was if he pulls himself after going 1 for 1.

posted by rcade at 08:22 AM on September 29

Considering the Mets have NEVER won a batting title, thrown a no-hitter, or won an MVP award, it's nice that he gave the fans something positive from this season.

Especially since he'll be leaving in the off-season...

posted by grum@work at 08:28 AM on September 29

Nice, an athlete winning an award for quitting.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:12 AM on September 29

That's a lot of numbers, rcade, and OH NO I'VE GONE CROSS-EYED.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:25 AM on September 29

The only way Reyes could assure himself of winning the title if Braun began with two hits later that day was if he pulls himself after going 1 for 1.

So, it was the smart move. I wonder if he was busy doing that math himself before the game yeseterday.

posted by bperk at 10:29 AM on September 29

cixelsyd, he did not win "an award for quitting." He won the batting title, which if I'm not mistaken, is given to the player with the highest batting average for the entire season. He had enough at bats to qualify and it was a meaningless game, so why should he have done anything different? Had the Mets needed a win to get into the playoffs and he did that, then I could understand the bitching, but otherwise, it's just hand-wringing over nothing.

If Ted Williams was hitting .40001 heading into the final (meaningless) game, would he have played knowing it could possibly mean he wasn't going to finish with a .400 average?

posted by cabuki at 11:32 AM on September 29

If Ted Williams was hitting .40001 heading into the final (meaningless) game, would he have played knowing it could possibly mean he wasn't going to finish with a .400 average?

Is this a troll? He was at .3995, so he would have finished at .400 and his manager offered to keep him out of the two meaningless games.

posted by yerfatma at 11:57 AM on September 29

If Ted Williams was hitting .40001 heading into the final (meaningless) game, would he have played knowing it could possibly mean he wasn't going to finish with a .400 average?

As yerfatma pointed out, the answer is YES, as that is exactly what he did.

posted by bdaddy at 01:53 PM on September 29

Ted Williams is easy to praise because his gutsy decision didn't cost him. If he goes a respectable 3-for-8 in that final day doubleheader in 1941 instead of 6-for-8, his season average drops to .3991 and he's no longer the last Major League player to surpass .400.

Would we still be admiring that 70 years later as much as we venerate his .400 season?

The achievement of winning a batting title will quickly overshadow Reyes skipping three or four at bats by hitting the showers early.

posted by rcade at 02:11 PM on September 29

No, we'd be asterisking his last .400 season.

posted by hincandenza at 02:24 PM on September 29

Would we still be admiring that 70 years later as much as we venerate his .400 season?

Yes. We would be talking about how he could have packed it in early to maintain his .400 average but chose to compete instead.

What we won't remember in this case is likely to be Ryan Braun, who competed until the end ... sad.

posted by cixelsyd at 02:28 PM on September 29

What we won't remember in this case is likely to be Ryan Braun, who competed until the end ... sad.

If Reyes played the whole game and didn't get another hit, he still would have won the batting title. Braun went hitless in his final game, so it was an unnecessary precaution on the part of Reyes. Braun didn't lose the batting title because Reyes came out of the game early, so it seems like a lot of fuss over nothing.

posted by bperk at 03:05 PM on September 29

yeah, what bperk said. Again, if this game had any playoff implications it would have been a completely different story...hurting your team's chances to better yours...but that wasn't the case. Not the best way to go perhaps, but it will be forgotten quickly.

posted by dviking at 03:16 PM on September 29

Reyes lacks intangibles and has no character.

posted by NEPABob at 03:59 PM on September 29

What does he need intangibles for? Intangibles are for players without talent, I think.

posted by bperk at 04:04 PM on September 29

Reyes lacks intangibles and has no character.

What stat is that? MoRAL?

posted by yerfatma at 05:06 PM on September 29

As a lifelong Brewer fan and a big fan of Ryan Braun's moxie, I think this is pure and total bullshit on Reyes' part and I hope he knows that he only goes down in history as someone who cared more about the damn title than playing the game to the best of his abilities.

A real player (well, fielder, anyway) stays in when needed, goes up to bat when called, and plays the whole game unless injured. You don't pull yourself out to hang onto a fucking title.

How infuriating to know this is the sort of player who walks away with the batting title for the season.

posted by evixir at 07:14 PM on September 29

I think this is pure and total bullshit on Reyes' part and I hope he knows that he only goes down in history as someone who cared more about the damn title than playing the game to the best of his abilities.

Five years from now, no one will give a crap about what Reyes did and he'll still have his name listed as the batting champ.

posted by grum@work at 09:04 PM on September 29

"The last two NL batting champs, Carlos Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez, didn't play the last two games of their title seasons due to 'minor injuries.' 2008 winner Chipper Jones had six plate appearances in the Braves' final seven games, and just one in Game 162." -- Rising Apple

What Reyes did is more commonplace than fans think. It's just uncommon to admit it.

Evixir: How do you know Braun would not have sat down in the same situation?

posted by rcade at 09:18 PM on September 29

The truth is - this happens frequently. The above examples from rcade are some, and there are many more who were hitting .300 and didn't want to slip below it. These cats negotiate their salaries based on their numbers. It's important.

However, I would agree that the honourable thing is to play.

Would we still be admiring that 70 years later as much as we venerate his .400 season?

Not sure. But I do believe that in another 70 years we won't give nearly as much of a shit, because we'll all be smart enough then to know that batting average (and "batting champs" based on batting average) is a terrible way to measure how good a season a hitter had. Reyes wasn't even a top ten hitter in the NL.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:43 PM on September 29

Would we still be admiring that 70 years later as much as we venerate his .400 season?

Possibly not, but one of the tragedies of the 1994 season (at least for Padre fans) was that Tony Gwynn was hitting in the mid-390s when the season ended, which I still sort of mourn more than 15 years later.

posted by LionIndex at 11:26 PM on September 29

It's a shame that Reyes can't be like the paragon of baseball, Derek Jeter:

Such as the one that faced Derek Jeter on Sept. 26, 2008. There were three games left in the season, and for once, the Yankees weren't going to the playoffs. Jeter's hand was sore from being hit by a ball the week before. His batting average, which had mostly ranged from the .270s to the low .300s through the year, had finished an upswing and started dropping again, down to .301. There was nothing left to play for but pride and dignity and respect for the game itself.

So what did Jeter, the embodiment of everything that's right with baseball, do? He started the game 0-for-2 and saw his average drop to .300one at-bat away from .2998. At that point, in the third inning, he left the game, never to reappear for the rest of the season. He chickened out, just like Jose Reyes.

- from Deadspin

posted by grum@work at 12:08 AM on September 30

You beat me to that article. Think it pretty much covers it. What Reyes did is pretty common. His mistake was in openly admitting it and not being universally-loved already.

posted by yerfatma at 09:10 AM on September 30

Evixir: How do you know Braun would not have sat down in the same situation?

Frankly, it's not his style. And I'm pretty sure Roenicke and several other teammates wouldn't let him get away with that sort of thing. It's fair to note that the Brewers actually have a postseason to look forward to this year, unlike the Mets, so it matters more than Braun puts forth all his best efforts to get runs as opposed to chasing batting titles and then sitting out when they're accomplished, watching his teammates try to maintain the lead without his help.

Five years from now, no one will give a crap about what Reyes did and he'll still have his name listed as the batting champ.

Brewers fans will remember!

It may be a common thing to do, but that doesn't mean I have to respect it or any of the players who do it. Reyes gets added to that list. And evidently Jeter too.

posted by evixir at 12:48 PM on October 01

It may be a common thing to do, but that doesn't mean I have to respect it or any of the players who do it.

Yep. I don't think it's a big deal, and I understand that it's common, and that it will be forgotten soon enough except for those that really care about baseball history. That doesn't stop me from thinking it would be cooler if he had said fuck it and played.

As far as the jeter comparison, I'm no fan of jeter, but his decision only affected himself. Little difference, but enough for me.

posted by justgary at 08:57 PM on October 02

Is this a troll? He was at .3995, so he would have finished at .400 and his manager offered to keep him out of the two meaningless games.

yerfatmama, I was not trolling. I know he was below .400 but it would have rounded up and he could have not played and gotten the mark. It was a question about what he would have done if his average was above .400 and he was given the option to sit out. I was not aware he played a double header on the last day of the season and could have sat out the second game to keep his average intact.

posted by cabuki at 05:51 AM on October 03

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