Whether it is deserved or not, Luis Castillo has become the poster boy for last seasons failures… even though it was the bullpen that was the main culprit.
The way I see it, Luis Castillo has become to 2008, what Guillermo Mota was to the 2007 season.
It doesn’t matter if we get anything in return for him…
It doesn’t matter if we have to eat the remainder of his contract…
The bottom line is he has to go.
When the Mets decided to resign Luis Castillo to a huge contract for someone who was obviously injured and on the downside of his career, most Mets fans cried foul. Even those who approved of the signing, did so while holding their noses.
It was the same thing that happened when the Mets chose to resign Guillermo Mota after the 2006 season. Back then the fans objected because of the steroids controversy, last season fans objected because it was too much money, for too many years, for a player who was too banged up.
The fans were justified in their criticism of Mota as the 2007 season unfolded, just like the fans were justified of their criticism of Luis Castillo as the 2008 season unfolded.
Unless the Mets want to have Opening Day at CitiField to become a boo-fest when Luis Castillo comes to the plate after a lead-off single by Reyes, I urge Omar Minaya to get rid of Luis Castillo at all costs. The consequences of keeping him could be devastating and undermining.
I know that Luis Castillo was just a tiny part of the disappointment of last season, but that said, he has become the face of everything that was wrong. His .245 batting average was a dead out in the lineup, his 3 homeruns and 28 RBI was a suffocating blow to the offense, especially when we already decided to sacrifice offense for defense with Brian Schneider behind the plate.
You can’t have three dead spots in the lineup and hope to succeed.
I never understood the point in booing our players, and I’ve never felt the need to do it. But, I believe I’m in the minority when it comes to that, and I want to try and avoid booing of any kind on Opening Day. I don’t believe that can happen as long as Luis Castillo is on the field on that day.
The Mets now have several different options that have become fan favorites, who can play second base. None of them are stars, but each of them are well received by the fans. They include Argenis Reyes, Damion Easley who would have to be resigned, and then there is Daniel Murphy who is currently playing second base in the Arizona Fall League and is leading the league in almost every offensive category while batting .435. The Mets can even go fishing in the trade market, or sign a free agent like Orlando Hudson if they chose to do so.
The point is, that it’s time to close the chapter on Luis Castillo, and begin to write a new chapter with a new storyline and with new characters at second base.
If you want to erase some of the pain of last season, getting rid of Castillo would be a good start.