By Laura Amato
Jose Reyes was nervous.
It was a feeling the former All-Star was unaccustomed to. But on Sunday, just minutes before stepping onto the field with the Brooklyn Cyclones and making his return to the Mets organization, Reyes was nervous.
Of course, there was a reason for Reyes’ nerves.
The 33-year-old has been in the headlines recently, after being suspended by the MLB earlier this year for violating the league’s domestic-abuse policy.
Reyes didn’t exactly storm back onto the field, going hitless in three at-bats with the Cyclones, but that almost didn’t matter as the capacity crowd at MCU Park chanted his name.
In the few hours after it was announced, Reyes would appear with the Cyclones on June 26 and June 27, the team sold over 2,000 tickets.
After leaving the game in the seventh inning, Reyes was humbled by the support he received.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but it seems like the people still love me,” said Reyes, who signed a minor-league deal with New York on June 25. “I know some people out there they’re going to be hard on me and I respect that. I understand. I put myself in that situation. I made my mistake, that was a terrible mistake.”
Reyes was arrested on Oct. 31 last year on charges—which were later dropped—of assaulting his wife and after being suspended for over 50 days, was let go by the Colorado Rockies.
Although he had played nine games for the Rockies’ Triple-A affiliate, Reyes wasn’t sure what to expect when he walked onto the field.
He hit leadoff for the Cyclones and got the start at third base, the position he’s most likely to play for the Mets should he get the call-up. Reyes looked confident in the field, but he’s not getting ahead of schedule.
“Let’s not get too crazy,” Reyes said when asked about matching his previous production with the Mets. “Right now we’re going to take it day by day because like two weeks ago, I was ready to go with the Rockies. I don’t think it’s going to be too long. Just day by day and see how I’m feeling.”
Reyes said he had been hopeful for a reunion with the Mets, the same club that gave him his professional start over a decade ago.
He’ll continue to attend counseling for last year’s incident and is anxious to prove that he’s worthy of the second chance New York has offered him.
There will be nerves, again, as he continues to climb up the ladder and Reyes isn’t certain of the reception he’ll get should he make his way back to Citi Field. There is one thing he’s confident in, however; he’s going to do whatever it takes to help the team because, for Reyes, he’s finally home.
“I’m going to do everything that I can to try and get better,” he said. “Not only as a person, but on the baseball field. Whatever the team needs me to do, I’m going to be open to do it. I’m home. I’m happy.”