One down, one to go. The Mets have released Luis Castillo, who apparently went to the same School of Delusion as Heath Bell and Bengie Molina.
GM Sandy Alderson said, “After a long evaluation during spring training, after consulting with Terry (Collins) and the coaching staff, I made a recommendation to ownership in the best interest of the organization and Louie that he be released. Ownership approved.”
I’m sure it’s killing the cash-strapped Wilpons to eat $6 million, but it needed to be done.
Not so, according to Castillo (left, with a guy who will hopefully soon join him on the unemployment line). He told Newsday what he said during the meeting with Alderson. “I said I came here to play and you didn’t give me the chance. You didn’t use me.”
Um, Castillo was given the chance for three and a half years to show what he could do. The Mets and their fans had seen enough of this guy to know he is useless. He has lost all range in the field, his outfield-grass power has diminished, and he can’t even steal bases anymore. He can still sacrifice bunt in the first inning very well, however.
On this glorious day for Mets fans, Andy Martino in the New York Daily News speculates that Mets fans hate Castillo so much because of his race. Martino is grasping at straws.
The fans hate Castillo for one simple reason — after signing what we all knew (except for Omar Minaya and the Wilpons, apparently) was a ridiculous, ill-conceived contract, he reported to spring training in horrible shape. He was healthy enough to play in only 87 games in 2008, batting a paltry .245. That season sealed his fate. His .302 batting average in 2009 was too little, too late.
Incidentally, I don’t think the hatred has anything to do with Castillo’s infamous dropped fly ball against the Yankees in 2009. He wasn’t mercifully booed in his first game back home after the error, and was even given a sarcastic cheer when he caught a pop-up. I think fans forgave Castillo for that — it was one error (albeit a huge one) in one game. It was his entire Mets career that resulted in the hatred.
So now Castillo is gone. Oliver Perez cannot be far behind.