I have nothing against Jose Reyes. He's had a phenomenal major league career. He's an extremely skilled baseball player. And I haven't heard much about him, on or off the field, that would lead me to believe he's anything but a good guy.
He's just not Troy Tulowitzki, and that fact has never been more evident than it was on Wednesday.
Reyes in his debut with the Colorado Rockies finished 1-for-3 with a walk in a 3-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs. The 32-year-old shortstop singled in his first plate appearance, ripping a hard liner through the hole on the left side, but was immediately thrown out trying to steal second base.
The newcomer walked in his next plate appearance and, along with Charlie Blackmon, pulled off a double steal that led to the Rockies getting the board in the fourth. It was Reyes' 17th swipe of the season -- 10 fewer than Blackmon, who leads the team.
Reyes' first day in purple ended with a groundout in the sixth and a strikeout in the ninth. All in all, it was an uneventful debut for the star veteran, but certainly not a bad one.
Tulowitzki, on the other hand, was unbelievable in his first game with the Toronto Blue Jays.
After striking out in his first plate appearance, Tulowitzki strung together extra-base hits in three consecutive at-bats to help the Jays to an 8-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. The five-time All-Star hit a monster home run in his second trip to the plate, putting Toronto on the board. He followed that with two straight doubles before grounding out in his final at-bat.
Tulo added one of his signature jump throws, showing his new fans what he's capable of in the field, as well. Plus, he did something his predecessor never did: compiled three RBI and scored three runs in a single game.
It's safe to say that, even though it's early, Jays fans are happy. Rockies fans, on the other hand, largely are lost, upset and confused.
Those are all valid feelings. But they're ones that shouldn't be taken out on Reyes just because he isn't Tulo.
Watching both players on Wednesday was a big mix of fun, awkward, emotional and surreal. Tulowitzki wearing a Blue Jays uniform feels depressing. And Reyes as a Rockie is just weird, although that could be because it also feels temporary.
But the conclusion I came to is that he's one of ours now. It sucks that Tulo is gone, and it seems inevitable that more of our favorites are on the way out, too. Those things shouldn't be held against Reyes. He's here to help the club win, or entertain people, or get through whatever transition period might be on the horizon. The point is, he's here.
So, try not to treat the Rockies' new shortstop unfairly. He's not Tulo. He'll never be Tulo. But that's not enough of a reason to not give him a shot to earn your adoration -- or, at the very least, your respect.