Manuel, along with the trainer came out to check on Reyes. Manuel did the right thing, and pulled Reyes from the game, replacing him with Damion Easley.
Reyes was none too pleased, huffing and puffing like a little kid and throwing his helmet to the ground as he entered the dugout, and eventually into the clubhouse.
Manuel handled it beautifully, following Reyes into the clubhouse to talk about the little incident that just occured. One can only speculate what was said, but Bart Hubbuch in the POST relays the post game quotes:
"Really, the behavior is pretty much unacceptable," Manuel said of Reyes' tantrum. "But the attitude is something that can help us win ballgames."Perfectly handled by Manuel, and a good reaction from Reyes. Manuel has to play with a heavy hand these first few games, to let the players know what he's going to be like the rest of the year. He cannot have players walking all over him, and he's doing his best to make sure that never happens.
Reyes, who is expected back in the lineup tonight, apologized to Manuel in the next inning and said he understood his new manager's thinking.
"I want to play, but Jerry was just trying to take care of me," Reyes said. "He made the right decision, because it's a long season and I need to stay healthy the whole season."
Oh, and Reyes should be back in the lineup tonight. The injury was just a little tweak of the hamstring.
Manuel's first day was excellent. He handled himself very well at the press conference, joking around and showing emotion. A novel idea.
His one drawback, if I must have one (and I do), is that Trot Nixon was not in the starting lineup. John Lackey is a righty, and Nixon is more capable in the outfield than Marlon Anderson. Nixon should have been in right field, with Endy Chavez in left.
It's not like Nixon has bad numbers against Lackey. He's a career .250 hitter (4-16), with a double, RBI, walk and strikeout.
Hopefully, Nixon is in the lineup tonight against Jon Garland, a pitcher he is also batting .250 lifetime against.
I must say, I've never seen the media dish out such negative remarks towards one team in a one day period.
I've only seen a handful of articles from the mainstream that actually spell out that this might have been the right thing to do, and the time was unavoidable.
The best article of the day came from longtime Star-Ledger writer, Moss Klein: Mets GM Minaya has nothing on George Steinbrenner.
Finally, someone is talking some sense.