The Major League Baseball Players Association announced Friday each team’s top vote-getter for the 2018 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, an award dedicated to singling out who players “most respect based on his leadership on the field and in the community.”
The leading vote-getter from the New York Mets raised a few eyebrows: It’s Jose Reyes, who was suspended 51 games in 2016 for violating the league’s domestic violence policy.
Reyes was suspended for allegedly grabbing his wife by the throat and shoving her into a glass door at a hotel in Maui in 2015. Reyes never faced criminal charges for the incident, but his wife’s injuries were bad enough that she was taken to the emergency room.
How Jose Reyes made the shortlist for MLB’s Man of the Year award
It is worth noting that it wasn’t the New York Mets players voting among themselves to pick Reyes as their nominee for the Marvin Miller Award. Rather, it was a league-wide vote in which Reyes received more votes than any other player on the Mets.
So this could simply be a function of no other players on the Mets receiving a significant amount of votes, opening the door for some of Reyes’ friends to vote him up.
However it happened, it remains a brutally awful look for the MLBPA to put forward Reyes in a group that includes Adam Jones, who has worked tirelessly to empower local youth, and Clayton Kershaw, who built an orphanage in Zambia.
What Reyes’ nomination is missing
Reyes’ selection becomes even more mind-boggling when you see the MLBPA’s release, which proudly extols the each players’ accomplishments on the field and in the community. For that “community” part, literally every blurb mentions charity work of some kind. Except for Reyes, whose tangible contributions include moving to the bench and being nice to Amed Rosario.
In his 16th season, Jose earned the respect of his teammates with the professionalism he demonstrated in transitioning from everyday player to role player. He took on the responsibility of mentoring young players, including the Mets’ promising young shortstop Amed Rosario.
It’s also worth wondering how Reyes beat out David Wright for the honor, given that Wright remains one of MLB’s most universally respected veterans, has a history of charity work and is expected to retire this offseason.
The latest example of MLB players disregarding domestic violence
Accused domestic abusers have been defended in the past by their own team, like when Astros reliever Ryan Pressly went at it with a heckler for pointing out closer Roberto Osuna’s domestiv violence allegations or when Cubs manager Joe Maddon made it a point to never read the allegations against shortstop Addison Russell. Those can tenuously expected as people trying to co-exist with players they’re professionally tied to. This is another matter.
Putting forth Reyes as someone deserving of a “Man of the Year” award whose winner is supposed to embody the kind of leader every player should aspire to be, that’s not co-existing. It’s an example of multiple players deciding the allegations against Reyes should be ignored, because to take those allegations into account would disqualify Reyes for anyone vaguely familiar with his history.
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