Jose’s Last Laugh

From 040909_Pirates

Jose Reyes got the last laugh last night. It’s presumed by many that he was benched for admiring his long double on Wednesday afternoon, but he managed to get his hand, or feet, into the game anyway. He passed off his base stealing abilities to David and the team, so they could combine for seven stolen bases; four of them by his buddy on the left side of the infield. It did appear that he forgot to give his defense to Alex Cora, but it worked out in the end.

This time it was Beltran hitting a double in the final inning, and he promptly stole third. Reyes’ base stealing ability was obviously pointing out how it would’ve made more sense Wednesday to let Reyes have the opportunity to swipe third, rather than have Castillo bunt him over. Castillo had a key sac-fly on Tuesday, so why not another?

Reyes’ base stealing ability even got Gary Sheffield to steal a base last night. It didn’t matter what Molina did behind the plate, Reyes’ ability made everyone faster than Molina could throw, and may have even slowed down the third base ump’s eyes.

Kidding aside, it wasn’t Reyes’ base stealing ability that won last night’s game; It was Wright’s leadership. Wright recognizes what this team needs to do to win. Granted, he’s not always able to succeed, but baseball is more failure than success, and that doesn’t make him a bad leader. He realized with Reyes out, the way to win the game wasn’t to change the team dynamic with Sheffield and trying to become a power team and hit home runs, but to fill in for Reyes and become the fast, aggressive team that they are when he’s on. He’s done it before. In 2006 when Beltran and Delgado were blasting everything out of the park, Wright contributed by driving them in whenever possible to a career high and team leading 116. In 2007 when Delgado was struggling, Wright switched gears and stole a lot of bases to help Reyes and others set a franchise record for the season and scored nearly 20 more runs. David Wright may occasionally not come through, may press too hard at times, may try to appease too many people, but when it comes down to it David Wright is a winning ballplayer, and a leader on this team.

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