The media are making a fuss about that trip to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to visit wounded vets that the Mets made, but Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez skipped. I don’t think this is really a big deal, but I do find it interesting that the only three players who didn’t go are players the Mets would desperately love to eliminate from the roster.
Beltran actually had a legitimate excuse; he had a meeting with his foundation to discuss another very worthy cause — a high school he is building in Puerto Rico. Do you think David Wright or Johan Santana would have been criticized if they had missed it because of a foundation meeting? I don’t think so. Beltran made a similar trip last year with Fred Wilpon, so he is obviously not adverse to it. I have gone on record of saying I am not a fan of Beltran, but even I think he deserves a pass on this one.
Castillo said he didn’t go because he didn’t want to see people without arms or legs. It’s kind of a selfish excuse, but how many of us know people who won’t go to hospitals or funerals because it depresses them too much?
And then we have Perez, who refused to answer any questions that had nothing to do with baseball. He’s such a weirdo, I would have been curious to hear what his reason was, if he even had one.
Aside from what Castillo said, I have a theory about why he and Perez chose not to go. Not only are they the most hated Mets by the fans, it is quite clear they are unwanted by management as well. So maybe they were thinking, “why should we go out of our way to attend a team function when the team doesn’t even want us around?” It’s hard to argue with such logic. On the other hand, they are being paid (quite handsomely) by the team, so they still have some responsibility towards it.
All in all, I don’t think this is a very big deal. Castillo’s and Perez’s days with the Mets are numbered, anyway. There is no reason for them to try to endear themselves to the team or its fans anymore.