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Champ or Chump?

Posted on: September 29th, 2011 by Larry

To win the batting title in major league baseball, a player needs to come to the plate a certain number of times and if his average is tops, he’s the champ.

The Mets’ Jose Reyes is this year’s National League batting champ. It was a close race with Ryan Braun. But Reyes singled in his first at bat in the final game of the season, and that pretty much assured him of the title if he didn’t chance another at bat. So his manager took him out of the game. Watch the video.

Reyes won the title. Everyone’s happy. Well, not quite everyone. He was booed by some hometown fans as he was replaced by a pinch runner.

Some people would say Reyes “backed” into the batting title. Check out this column by Rob Neyer at Baseball Nation.

  • If you were in Reyes’s position, would you have insisted on playing the entire final game – and risked losing the batting crown and maybe some bonus money?
  • Players sit out games for various reasons throughout the season, so why should Reyes’s accomplishment be diminished by leaving the last game early?
  • Some would argue that Reyes didn’t really earn his title. What is your definition of “earning” something?