There has been a lot of nonsense in the media over the past couple of days regarding the release of Luis Castillo. For some reason, many writers insist on finding reasons for his banishment other than his diminishing skills on the field.
The most common refrain was that it was fan-driven, that the Mets did it to please fans who hated Castillo (one writer said that hate was based on race, which is just ridiculous).Since when does the front office listen to fans? It is just ludicrous. Except in this case, the man who made the decision sort of validated the theory.
Here’s what GM Sandy Alderson said about the fans’ feelings for Castillo in regards to his release.
“I don’t think there’s any question that there’s some linkage between his situation and a perception of the Mets that has existed to this point. That’s something that was taken into account. At some point, you have to make an organizational decision that goes beyond just an ability to play or not play. So those things are relevant. And you try not to make them so controlling that it dictates the final decision under any circumstances. Realistically, it’s a factor.”
So suddenly Alderson cares about the wishes of the fans? If he really cared he would have hired fan favorite Wally Backman as manager instead of Terry Collins, who was the favorite of no one.
I wonder why Alderson said that. Does he just not want to accept responsibility for his decision? What he should have said was, “I understand the fans feelings for Castillo and we will do everything to make our fans happy. But this was strictly a baseball decision. End of story.” If Alderson really wants to please the fans, there are a myriad of off-field things the organization can do, such as retire the numbers of Keith Hernandez and Mike Piazza or make Citi Field more of a Mets home than a Dodgers shrine. These are things where the voice of the fans should be heard and obliged.