This here site is named after Ted Williams, you may have noticed, and for good reason: He's one of the all-time greats. Baseball-Reference's EloRater (constantly adjusting for what people think of ballplayers based on head-to-head votes) has him as the 2nd greatest of all-time behind Babe Ruth. His numbers are gaudy. My grandpa, a huge Yankees fan who saw Ruth, Gehrig, and Dimaggio in person, even admits that Ted was the best he's ever seen.
And here's another reason Ted is the man: He didn't beg out of games to preserve personal records like Jose Reyes did today.
Reyes, in the lead for the National League batting crown, delivered a bunt single to lead off the bottom of the first inning of the Mets' 3-0 win over the Reds. He then was pulled asNew York Mets manager Terry Collins adhered to the shortstop's request to be removed if he singled. Some fans booed after realizing Collins had sent Justin Turner to pinch-run for Reyes.
Reyes, bidding to become the first player in franchise history to win a batting title, finishes the season with 181 hits in 537 at-bats (.3371 average).
"I said, 'If I go 1-for-1, take me out of the game,'" Reyes said. "And I did that. If I went 0-for-1, maybe I'm still in the game until I get a hit."
If you're not familiar with the story about Williams, in his .406 season he entered the final day on .400 on the nose. I'll let that same ESPN story take it from there:
The decision to pull Reyes comes on the 70th anniversary of Ted Williams deciding to play in a doubleheader on the final day of the regular season in 1941 even though his .39955 average would have been rounded up to .400.
"If I'm going to be a .400 hitter, I'm going to be a .400 hitter all the way," Williams was quoted as saying at the time.
Williams went 6-for-8 in the twin bill to up his average to .406.
Atta boy, Teddy.
The sad thing is, this will probably end up helping Reyes make even more money this offseason. Unless Ryan Braun has a huge night and overtakes him, Reyes' agent will be able to use "batting title winner" in negotiations, and you just know some dumb GM will fall for it and fork over Crawford money.
Let's just hope it's not Theo.