Thursday, October 16, 2008

Luis Castillo: Behind The Blow

Well, another red letter season has come do an end (and that red letter is F ... I'll let you figure out what that stands for.) And believe it or not, I still have s**t to say. The following is one in a series of random stuff I'm throwing against the wall about person or persons of my choosing. These are your New York Mets: Behind the Blow.

On July 19th, 2007, the Dow Jones Industrial average topped 14,000 for the first time ever. On the same day, the Mets had beaten the Dodgers 13-9 and were in first place by two and a half games.

Ten days later, Luis Castillo came on board.

Since then, the Dow Jones plunged below 9,000 points, and the Mets lost two straight playoff berths on the last day of the season. I think it's easy to infer that Luis Castillo is to blame for all of this.

Think about it: Remember this past Monday when the Dow bounced back with the largest one day gain in history? Do you think it's a coincidence that on the very same day, Daniel Murphy went 4-for-4 in the Arizona Fall League?

That's all the proof I need. So with the help of deductive reasoning I say this: Luis Castillo is taking your money.

All right, so maybe my argument is skewered a bit. But I can't argue that there's about as much consumer confidence in Castillo as there is in, say ... TransOcean. And that's despite the fact that Castillo's numbers with the Mets in 2007 were actually somewhat decent. And that was the impetus for Omar Minaya signing Castillo to a four year deal.

I allow myself an irrational leaning every once in a while. Here's mine for today: Luis Castillo gets a bad rap. I'd even go so far as to say that Omar Minaya gets a slightly unfair rap for signing Castillo to the long deal. (I'd be willing to bet that when you were at Shea booing Castillo, you were actually booing Omar.) Remember, Daniel Murphy and Argenis Reyes were not yet options during the winter of 2007. Here were your free agent options:
  • Castillo
  • David Eckstein
  • Kaz Matsui

No matter that Castillo was a disaster this season, I still take him over Eckstein with all things being the same now as they were then. Remember, Eckstein would have come to New York and switched positions from shortstop to second. And here's the rub: Toronto traded him because he couldn't field ... his natural position! Then he got traded to Arizona and hit .219 down that all-too-familiar stretch.

And I don't want to read comments that read: "But but but ... David Eckstein! Grit! Heart!" Castillo in '07 played through bad knees and hit over his career averages in batting and on base percentage, and drove in 20 runs in 50 games. And while he looked like he would fall apart at any second, he was hardly the reason the Mets collapsed in 2007. Four years may have been much, but don't forget the Astros were going after Castillo also so I'm not convinced that the Mets really had any choice but to sign Castillo to the long deal ... unless you wanted Kaz Matsui back in New York to get booed out of his mind. You want that? Do you? Think hard about that before you answer.

That being said, it's time for Luis Castillo to blow town. There are options now. Argenis Reyes is an option. Daniel Murphy and his .529 AFL average is an option. Orlando Hudson very well may be an option. Luis Castillo is no longer an option. His knees are beyond repair. His stats in '08 are beyond repair. And if he's not batting second, he's pretty much useless. Wherever Murphy plays, he'll be the one batting second. And let's face it: bad things do seem to happen just by his very presence. There's no good reason for it, it just is.

(Excuse me, my head just got light and I need to sit down. I'm getting a Carlos Baerga flashback.)

And now I understand why Castillo came to the Mets so cheap. What was once a happy marriage must now be dissolved due to irreconcilable differences. Don't be scared about some of the quotes floating around from the Mets which basically say not to count out Castillo being the starting second baseman next season ... that's just lip service to make sure his trade value doesn't drop as fast as the stock market. Believe it or not, there are some that actually might want him. Ooh, I know, I know, Omar needs to fix the bullpen, maybe Castillo can bring back Braden Looper!

Yeah, and maybe my Enron stocks will make a comeback.


tm said...

Argenis Reyes and his sub .300 OBP are not an option. He sucks.

If Murphy can play even average defense in the AFL, he should be the Mets second baseman next year. His bat is a huge plus at 2B, less so in LF.

Ed in Westchester said...

yeah, um, Argenis sucks Damus.
I'd live with Daniel at 2nd if he can put up 300/375/480

word verification "fwkysu"

Metstradamus said...

Hey, I didn't say "great" option. But he's an option ... much in the same way as Aaron Heilman is an "option".


(buries head in hands)

Mets Tailgate said...

"Argenis Reyes is an option"

To man the hot dog stand at Citi Field.

OK, enough piling on Argenis.

Unser said...

Nicely done. Castillo and his little dribblers were an easy target. He did suck up the joint though, didn't he?

Maybe 25 years ago we could get by with a good field/no hit second baseman and catcher, but not any more. Assuming they're going with Schneider again as starting catcher, they need a legitimate hitter at 2B, be it Murphy (damn! that lead-off triple! what the hell D Wright! . . . sorry) or Hudson or someone else. What's also clear is Murphy needs to play everyday, somewhere.

Danny said...

I was in favor of a Gotay/Easley platoon over signing Castillo to 4 years.

I still think that would have played out better for the Metsies.

upstate met fan said...

I truly believe that if the Mess didn't sign Castillo we wouldn't of gotten Johan. Of course we will never find out.

I have no doubt Omar will do good by getting rid of him, now that we have Johan. He has too. Right?

I can't wait to see Murphy at first or second..

By the way, if the phillies win the ws the Mets should just shut the "fwkysu" up about who's the team to beat in 2009.

Go Mets in '09!

Auto Parts said...

If Murphy can play even average defense in the AFL, he should be the Mets second baseman next year. His bat is a huge plus at 2B, less so in LF.

Auto Parts

Ceetar said...

Well, can we kill Castillo and pronounce him 'done' after one bad year? Technically, he was barely recovered from surgery, and he never got 'spring training' or regular games when he returned.

People complaining about his contract wouldn't complain if it was a one year deal. We (were) dealing with the here and now, so how does 2011 come into play exactly?

You get the most 'bang for your buck' out of Castillo hitting second. even 8th is better than 7th.

Murphy has to be considered. I'm not sure about Hudson, but you have to at least look at him. What other second base options we got? Valentin/Easley/Argenis should never be anything but possible bench options.

I don't think you could go into the season with Murphy as your number 1 option. I think it's strongly possible that Castillo is both our starting second baseman, and a successful one.

Omar needs to strengthen the bench as well as the bullpen, and a solid utility infielder is important. maybe 2, and maybe one has a Valentin type year and can become a 2b option. who knows.