After a drama-filled day, New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes won the National League batting title Wednesday, the first in franchise history. Reyes finished the year with a .337 average, while his closest competitor, Ryan Braun, finished with a .332 mark. Braun went 0-for-4 against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night, while Reyes went 1-for-1 against the Cincinnati Reds.
The team released this statement from Reyes:
"I just want to say I’m humbled and honored to win the batting title. It means so much to my family and my country, the Dominican Republic. I have been through a lot over the past few years so this really means a lot to me. It’s also very special to be the first Mets player to win a batting title. There have been so many great players throughout our history. I want to thank Terry Collins, my coaches and all my teammates and of course all the Mets fans who have always supported me and been behind me 100 percent."
This batting title will certainly leave a bitter taste in baseball fans’ and Mets fans’ mouths as the 28-year-old bunted for a single in the first inning and then was lifted — upon his request — in order to preserve his lead. His decision to remove himself from the game was a controversial one. General baseball followers felt he should earn it by playing out the rest of the game, while Mets fans wanted to see their homegrown (and a fan favorite) talent play longer in what could’ve been his last game in a Mets uniform.
Regardless of what transpired during the final day of the season (and whether he won), Reyes’ season was spectacular. He finishes the year with a .337/.384/.493 line with seven home runs, 44 RBI, 101 runs and 39 stolen bases.