Welcome to another edition of the Stache’s Throwback Thursday posts where we take a look back in Mets history for something interesting to post on a Thursday.
Today we once again go back to a year that as is gets further away it looks a heck of a lot better, 2008.
This time we go back to that year not for a story that happened on the field but a story that took place off the field and to be exact, on an airplane.
Former New York Post Mets beat writer Bart Hubbuch, now the lead NFL writer for the Post, tells us about how former Mets shortstop Jose Reyes and SNY broadcaster and Mets legend Keith Hernandez got into it on a flight during the 2008 season.
Jose Reyes and Keith Hernandez had to be separated on the Mets’ charter plane Sunday night after a tense confrontation over Hernandez’s critical comments about the All-Star shortstop.
A team source described the situation aboard the plane as “very heated.” One player told The Post that he thought Reyes and the popular former Met – now an analyst for the club’s SNY TV network – were close to exchanging punches until others stepped in.
Reyes said yesterday he was angry at Hernandez after numerous friends and relatives told him Hernandez accused the Mets of “babying” Reyes during the broadcast of Sunday’s 3-1 win over the Yankees at Shea Stadium.
“He got his point [across] and I got mine,” Reyes, when asked to describe the confrontation, told The Post before he drove in three runs in the Mets’ 11-1 victory over the Cardinals last night. “I’m not too happy with the way he’s been talking.”
According to one account, strongly denied by both Reyes and Hernandez, what set Reyes off during the flight was when Hernandez allegedly responded to Reyes’ concerns by saying: “I was just doing my job – you should do yours.”
Hernandez’s “babying” comment was in response to Reyes throwing his glove to the ground moments after committing a throwing error in the seventh inning Sunday. Reyes said he threw his glove out of anger at himself and not in an effort to show up first baseman Carlos Delgado, who appeared to have a chance to catch the throw.
“Well, he’s got to get over that,” Hernandez said at the time, according to one transcript of the broadcast. “Enough babying going on now. He’s a grown man. He’s been around a long enough time. Take off the kid gloves.”
They would go to deny that there was a “confrontation” and that is more of a conversation but Reyes was still mad about the situation after it all went down.
Reyes, however, made it clear to The Post that there is still simmering anger on his part toward the opinionated Hernandez.
“I don’t know why in that situation he’s talking like that,” Reyes told The Post. “Like I said, I just [made] an error and I feel bad. I threw my glove down, but I [felt] bad because you’re not supposed to be giving extra outs to the other team.”
It seems as if the situation resolved itself over time as there was no other reports of confrontations that I could find between Reyes and Hernandez during Reyes remaining years with the Mets.
Reyes left the Mets as a free agent after the 2011 season to sign with the Miami Marlins before being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012 where he is currently playing.
Hernandez is still with SNY six years later and, in this writers opinion, has not exactly been shy about taking veiled shots at Reyes, especially since Reyes left the team.
Of course in more recent times we have seen that Hernandez’s negative criticism of the hitting philosophy of now former Mets hitting coach Dave Hudgens upset Hudgens enough to mention it in interviews after being fired.
Even in 2002, Keith was a lightning rod for criticism when Mike Piazza said that Hernandez, after saying the 2002 Mets quit on Bobby Valentine was “a clueless voice from the grave” and was “just trying to make a name for himself at our expense.”
Keith Hernandez has never had a problem speaking his mind on just about anything at all. Of course in 2008 it got him into a reported altercation with Reyes.
Then again based upon the fact Keith hasn’t changed much at all since that time means that basically no matter what he will continue to speak his mind and potentially upset Mets players and coaches for years and years to come.