Bronx, NY – The ghost at Yankee Stadium last night was obviously Casey Stengel and you could actually see him above the field winking his eye, rubbing his leathery face and uttering, “Amazin’.”
After last night’s improbable 9-8 Yankee win, the Bombers swear Mystic and Aura made their way up from Scores, but the Mets seem a little more subdued after Luis Castillo dropped the final out, allowing the tying and winning runs score.
“We aren’t going to ostracize Luis,” Manuel said. “We’ll support him. I still believe it’s early enough where we can overcome this , but it’ll be a tremendous test for us.”
Perhaps, but this much is for certain, Castillo will be never forgiven for this by the Flushing faithful, he is now goes into the failed Met category reserved for Bobby Bonilla, Mel Rojas, and Aaron Heilman and now should expect the type of treatment that goes with that moniker.
Even the Mets knew that when the clubhouse opened to the press. You could hear a pin drop as the players showered with only the goat of the game sitting silently hunched over by his locker.
To his credit, Castillo took all the blame (hard to pass it on to someone else) and said, “I fell bad… “It’s a routine fly ball. I grabbed at it and . . I tried.”
No one is criticizing Castillo’s effort this season, after all he came into camp in shape and has hit .277 with 14 RBI, but it’s not going to be enough to win back the fans. The second baseman needs to do more and frankly, he may not have it in him.
It’s not Castillo’s fault that he is a glorified singles hitter, but one that hits below .300 isn’t worth having on the team. If he was someone who hits .330 and walks a lot that different. But not .277 at $6 million a season and certainly not for two and a half more seasons.
No, the Mets need an upgrade at second base. Although a golden one was out there with Orlando Hudson just waiting to be scooped up this past offseason. But the Mets passed figuring Castillo could have a rebound.
If any other Met dropped that ball, he would probably be forgiven, but not Castillo, who is becomes Citi Field’s first official pariah. It’s now up to Omar Minaya to fix the mess he made. He must figure out how to move Castillo before the deadline, even if it means taking a bad contract back.
Jose Reyes will come back and that means Alex Cora could just slide over to second, and the Mets can sign Hudson this offseason, as he is on one-year deal with the Dodgers.
But the other option – keeping Castillo – now seems to be in the category of unthinkable. This error will now loom over this club all year. Sure the Mets say they support him, but do you really think anyone wants him out there when the game is on the line?
We saw that last night when Castillo took himself out of Stengel’s old discussion on who can really play this game.