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Tag:Michael Bourn
Posted on: June 10, 2010 3:57 pm
 

Playing cat-and-mouse with Reyes and Hundley

The Mets were busy finishing up with San Diego for 2010 during Thursday's day-night doubleheader, which means as Jose Reyes takes his speed game toward the next destination, the cat-and-mouse between him and Padres catcher Nick Hundley will go on hiatus until 2011.

The games-within-the-games are always fascinating, and I bring up Hundley here for one simple reason:

For his career, Reyes was a perfect 22 for 22 in stolen bases until Hundley threw him out at second base in the fifth inning of a game in San Diego on June 1.

"Oh, I didn't know that!" the charismatic Reyes said enthusiastically when I informed him that he had been perfect against the Padres to that point.

Then, he grinned and added: "I think I was safe. I don't even know that he tagged me in time."

What makes Reyes especially dangerous on the bases, Hundley said, is that he's so sneaky.

"He's really quiet," Hundley says. "To me, it looks like he's the same on every pitch.

"That trait is good to have if you're a base stealer. When you're cat-like, you don't give anything away."

Most base-stealers, Hundley said, give something away with their body language. A lean-toward-second here. A hand-movement there.

Reyes doesn't.

"There are some great base-stealers," Hundley said. "[Houston's] Michael Bourn, Reyes. But Reyes, for me, is a little different. He takes a walking lead. There's a little more rhythm. Bourn flat-out burns. Reyes is casual. He'll lull you to sleep."

Reyes said it's something he's worked on for years, and when the Mets brought Rickey Henderson in as a coach a few years ago, that learning process accelerated.

"I try to pick my spots, and I don't want to be too anxious," Reyes said. "If I'm anxious, they'll say, 'He's going to go at one point.' I try to be quiet. I learned that.

"When I was younger, I used to be crazy, like I wanted to go on every pitch."

Reyes led the NL in steals from 2005-2007, but since serious hamstring troubles have plagued him over the past couple of seasons, being quiet and cat-like on the bases is more important than ever to his success rate. And, by definition, to that of the Mets: They're 19-6 when he scores this season, and 267-110 (.708) in games since 2005 when he scores.

"He's smooth, he doesn't force it and he runs in good spots," Hundley said.

And he gives no clues that he may just take off for second or third in the next second.

"If you find a tip," Hundley said, "let me know."

Likes: OK, you healthy people in the crowd, here's PETA's ranking this year of baseball's most vegetarian-friendly ballparks (and it's entertaining that the city best known for Philly cheesesteaks ranks first): 1. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia. 2. AT&T Park, San Francisco. 3. Minute Maid Park, Houston. 4. Comerica Park, Detroit. 5. Coors Field, Colorado. ... TBS switching from Phillies-Boston to Nationals-Indians for their Sunday afternoon game of the weeke this weekend. They must really think a lot of rookie Nats reliever Drew Storen. Ah, wait, that's Stephen Strasburg's day to pitch. ... Cardinals rookie third baseman David Freese is a friendly and earnest kid -- and plenty talented. ... Last day of school. ... First day of summer vacation. ... A former Miss America playing Mrs. George Custer for Monroe's celebration of the 100th anniversary of it's lovely Gen. George Armstrong Custer statue.

Dislikes: Just how wacked out are Frank and Jamie McCourt? Answer: Very, very, extremely wacked out.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind
"Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
"The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
"Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
"Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
"Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
"With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
"Let me forget about today until tomorrow
"Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
"I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
"Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
"In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you"

-- Bob Dylan, Mr. Tambourine Man

 

 
 
 
 
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