Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

New Look, New Team for Reyes

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

New Look, New Team for Reyes

Article excerpt

JUPITER, Fla. - On the center of his black T-shirt was a three- digit number, its combination alluding to his new identity. Then there was the hair - chopped, dyed - a striking change from the way it looked inside the Mets' clubhouse.

But a new area code (305) and a new hairstyle (goodbye dreadlocks) were tweaks, a light mist measured against the uniform Jose Reyes wore out to shortstop Thursday at 1:06 p.m.

For the first time in his life, Reyes took the field for a Mets game without putting on a Mets uniform.

"This is nothing," Reyes said after exiting the Miami Marlins' 3- 1 win over the Mets at Roger Dean Stadium. "It's going to really go crazy when I go back to New York. This is spring training. This is just another game."

In his only at-bat against his former team, Reyes took a swing at the second pitch and bounced it back to pitcher R.A. Dickey. Dickey made the easy throw to first.

A 54-minute rain delay wiped out the rest of his afternoon. Reyes was done for the day, an 0-for-1 next to his name in the box score.

After he came out of the game, Reyes sat on a stool in the Miami clubhouse and unraveled the orange wrapping that encircled his wrists. He seemed pleased to see the writers, some of whom had chronicled all nine of his years in New York.

And yet ...

"For now, I don't miss anything," Reyes said. "I'm part of a new organization now. I'm going to miss the fans there in New York, because [of] all the support that they've given to me. I'm going to miss that. But I have a new fan [base] here in Miami."

The Mets, like Reyes, also are trying to move forward. Mets manager Terry Collins stood on the field and told reporters "it's all part of the business, it's all part of the game." Left fielder Jason Bay called Reyes the ultimate "love-to-play-with-him, hate-to- play-against-him type guy," but added a caveat. …

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