Checking the Signs

Checking the Signs

Mercury, the planet of communication, will be retrograde June 15 through July 10. This planetary cycle occurs three times a year for three weeks. Mercury rules information, communication, and transportation. Mercury retrograde can give rise to misunderstandings, delays in regards to negotiations and trade, as well as glitches or breakdowns with phones, computers, and travel. It won't be unusual for team planes and buses to be delayed during this planetary hotspot. It's a good time to review and reflect. If the universe gives you lemons, make lemonade.

The final lap of spring now commences with the Sun in Gemini. The Gemini lifestyle is characterized by diversity, motion, and collaboration. Gemini is a yang sign -- a positive, masculine energy force -- but the symbol of the Twins tells us there's more to the story. The Twins are both yin and yang, which we all possess to varying degrees, but which in Gemini is most pronounced. In many ways an eternal child, Geminis crave frequent change and have a hard time making up their mind.

Jose Reyes, Mets All-Star shortstop, was born June 11, 1983, in Villa Gonzalez, Dominican Republic. This multi-talented, effervescent personality is one of the premier leadoff hitters in the game. Blessed with raw talent, this jittery Gemini makes others nervous, especially on the basepaths. Giants closer Armando Benitez recently committed two balks in a 12th-inning loss to the Mets with the wriggling Reyes on base. The stars are shining brightly on this youthful jumping bean. A force of nature, he's the sixth-hardest to double up in the National League.

By improving plate discipline, his on-base percentage is steadily increasing. Reyes has stolen 156 bases while being caught 37 times -- an 81-percent success rate. Working with stolen base king Rickey Henderson, Reyes is a game-changing MVP-type player. A dexterous, animated catalyst, he intimidates with speed and cat-like instincts on the bases. Fielding-wise, he has exceptional range to either side, soft hands (Gemini rules the hands) strong arm strength and ultra quick release. As Gemini is the sign of two minds, it's a perfect fit for a switch-hitter.

Reyes led the NL in 2006 in triples (17) and stolen bases (64). He finished the season batting .300 with 19 homers, 81 RBIs and 122 runs, and he's having another stellar season. His star's on the rise. This resourceful Gemini can do it all. He's a dangerous offensive force who also possesses excellent defenses at shortstop. Reyes' animated personality makes him a fan favorite. He's well known for his elaborate team handshakes that celebrate runs scored. His stellar offensive play earned him his first Silver Slugger Award, and he finished seventh for the NL MVP Award with 108 points.

It's also worth noting that Gemini is the sign of the communicator and teacher. A segment called "Professor Reyes" has Jose teaching Shea Stadium's faithful the Spanish language between innings on Diamond Vision at Shea Stadium.

Aries: This is the perfect month for Rams to travel, either for business or pleasure. Aries individuals tend to be type "A" personalities who expect everything to happen according to their timetable. However, with Mercury retrograde mid-month, this is not very likely to happen.

Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera is an exciting Aries.

Taurus: Although this is usually the best month for you to vacation, with Mercury retrograde in Cancer after the 15th, plan again. Venus debuts in Leo on the 5th, making hanging out at your cozy home the best bet.

Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder is a steadfast Taurus.

Gemini: This is a peaceful and happy time in your personal life, with the Sun in your sparkling sign for the first three weeks of June. An eventful year is just starting out. Mercury, your ruler, begins its retrograde on the 15th, so be careful where you place your signature during the second half of the month.

Padres pitcher Jake Peavy is an adaptable Gemini.

Cancer: Mercury, planet of communication, turns retrograde in your sensitive sign on the 15th, which could complicate all interactions. Messages may be lost, misunderstood, or just not show up. Still, with the Sun in your sign after the 21st, you're feeling on top of the world.

Indians pitcher C.C. Sabathia is a food-loving Cancer.

Leo: Current friendships can be undergoing some challenges. Although you believe in being open and honest with all the important people in your life, others may feel differently. Yet an active social life continues to be yours. June perks with Mars, energizing your career sector.

Devil Rays second baseman B.J. Upton is a playful Leo.

Virgo: Also ruled by Mercury, be sure to double-check all communications. This is the month to move up the ladder of success, but there could be a few pitfalls along the way. Although things seem to fly in the face of logic, take heart and know this too shall pass.

Ageless wonder of the Mets, Julio Franco, is a health-conscious Virgo.

Libra: You need to be very careful about how you communicate with professional colleagues or associates when Mercury turns retrograde on the 15th. Dialogue can be quite confusing at this time. Socially, you're in great demand after the 5th when Venus moves into popular Leo.

Orioles designated hitter/first baseman Kevin Millar is a helpful Libra.

Scorpio: Venus joins Saturn in your career house on the 5th, making it a lot easier to get along with colleagues this month. With Mercury retrograde, some of your long-term projects may need to be put on hold for a while. Travel plans may be deterred at this time.

Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal is an intense Scorpio.

Sagittarius: You have quite a zest for life, emphasized with Mars in Aries. With Venus in Leo as well, this month is all about having fun. Your schedule could get a little demanding by the end of June. You may play catch-up, but it's worth kicking your heels up.

A's pitcher Joe Blanton is an expansive Sagittarius.

Capricorn: Venus in Leo boosts financial hopes, making it easier for you and a mate to agree on money matters. There are some clear-cut opportunities for you to increase your income during this period -- plus you can always depend on your own common sense.

White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski is a pragmatic Capricorn.

Aquarius: Your schedule is jam-packed with activities, including possible travel plans; be sure to double-check everything. Though you're at your best when working long hours on humanitarian projects, you need some rest and relaxation, too.

Angels Aquarius outfielder Vladimir Guerrero has big-time brawn.

Pisces: Like most water sign personalities, you have a shy side. Verbal communication is not your strong suit. During this Mercury retrograde cycle you need to work on being clear and honest in the way you communicate thoughts and feelings, or relationships may suffer.

Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander is an idealistic Pisces.

Andrea Mallis, sports astrologer, is a devoted baseball fan and writer. Andrea has appeared on ESPN SportsCenter, ESPN News, ESPN2 Cold Pizza, Baseball Tonight, and ESPN All-Night Radio. She's written for Major League Baseball magazines, ESPN.com Page 2, MLB.com, as well as appearing on local TV and radio shows. Andrea was recently featured in "FantasyLand," a book on fantasy baseball. For more information, please visit www.virgoinservice.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.