Jose Reyes Commits MLB’s 500,000th Error

Jose Reyes
Jose Reyes
Jose Reyes peeks out from the dugout steps during a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Marlins Park Steve Mitchell US PRESSWIRE

Jose Reyes will always be known for his bat, his speed, and his solid defense, but last night something happened that will forever seal Reyes’ name in baseball annals.

This summer, the folks over at Baseball-Reference noticed that MLB was getting close to 500,000 errors recorded since 1876. Like good statisticians, they decided to track it. For the last few weeks, they have been tweeting updates on the total count and last night an epic milestone was met. As per our nature, we’re going to poke fun at the jerk who caused that infamous 500,000th error.

Let’s set the scene with this incredibly unsportsmanlike quote:

“I really want to play in Miami as long as you pay me $1 more than anyone else… I really want to make the most money I can,”

This is of course secondhand – recalled by Marlins president David Samson during the offseason circus of ridiculous quips that landed not only Reyes, but Samson himself high on the list of epic jerks.

The Marlins-Reyes story speaks for itself: 65-81, 11 games out in the National League East. Their struggles through midseason led to a July fire sale including the trades of Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Omar Infante, Gaby Sanchez and Edward Mujica.

Suffice it to to say the Miami experiment has failed and Reyes is all alone in Miami with Carlos Lee, but he’s making the ‘most money he can.’ Last night, however, Reyes took part in something priceless – something no amount of money can buy, and something history will never forget.

In Saturday night’s contest against the Reds, Drew Stubbs came to the plate in the seventh inning. On a 2-1 pitch he hit a routine ground ball to short. Reyes came up with it and bobbled, allowing Stubbs to reach with one out in the seventh.

Just a bobble, not a major gaffe, no runs scored and ostensibly no harm done. But Reyes did something that will be remembered until the world stops turning. He committed baseball’s 500,000th error. Unoffcially. Here’s the quote from Baseball-Reference:

“Are we 100% certain this will actually be the true, honest-to-god, real 500,000th error since 1876? No, it undoubtedly isn’t as there are lots of accounting discrepancies in the “official” record, especially in the fielding stats.”

But here at Baseball Jerks, it’s close enough for us, and we’re happy to blame Jose Reyes for this incredible milestone, even if he didn’t commit it. In quick exchange of tweets between Baseball-Reference and several other hawk-eyed stats freaks, there may have been an error seconds before the Reyes goof.



The fact is, it’s unclear who actually caused the error, but somehow it doesn’t really matter. We rarely recount the poor pitching of Calvin Schiraldi that led to the Buckner error and subsequent collapse. And, we always blame Cubs fan Steve Bartman for getting in Moises Alou‘s way, instead of blaming Alex Gonzalez for bobbling a routine double-play ball. The problem is, it’s impossible to blame 499,999 others. Blame is best placed on an individual. There will always be scapegoats, for good and mostly for worse.

There’s more to baseball than glory and passion. There’s also dejection, confusion and embarrassment. We don’t wish these things upon anyone, but we also don’t turn a blind eye. Funny is funny. If you’re ever going to laugh at a baseball player’s misfortune, let it be now. The fruit is ripe for the picking. At least he didn’t cost anyone a World Series.

We salute you, Jose Reyes, the jerk who caused baseball’s 500,000th error.

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Tomas Laverty
Tomas Laverty, frequent contributor to the MLB section, runs a Detroit web design company called Detroit Spaces.