“CASTILLO, HUH YEAH, WHAT IS HE GOOD FOR? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, SAY IT AGAIN NOW……”

It seems that the second base position for the Mets has become the black hole 3rd base had once been. None of the four competitors for the job have stepped up to make it clear he is worthy of the job. Brad Emaus has yet to hit this spring but has shown a pretty good glove. Justin Turner seems to be the odd man out due to his two minor league options in his pocket  (I don’t see Turner’s name on either travel list for today) and Daniel Murphy has hit and shown some decent footwork at 2nd base but turning the double play has been what Terry Collins wants to see before he anoints Murph the opening day Mets second sacker.  That leaves the incumbent at the spot, Luis Castillo and from reading John Harper’s piece in the Daily News today, I sure if it were up to Terry Collins he would love to rid himself of Slappy :

Furthermore, Castillo, the incumbent of sorts, has annoyed Terry Collins by moping around in apparent protest of being forced to compete for the job, to the point where the manager called him into his office a couple of days ago to tell him he better start working harder if he wanted any shot at all.

Castillo didn’t even take pregame ground balls one day last week when he was in the lineup as the DH, as Collins has had to juggle playing time to get looks at all four second-base candidates. And that didn’t sit well with the new manager, who is not going to tolerate the laissez-faire attitude that permeated the clubhouse in recent years.

Since meeting with Collins, who promised to try to get him more playing time, Castillo seems to have raised his energy level, and he had a solid game Wednesday with two walks, a bloop single to left, and a nice play going toward the hole on a ball that went off Ike Davis’ glove.

This is the Castillo M.O. when things don’t go his way or the way he wants it to, he mopes, in fact is there a bigger mope than Castillo? His attitude has sucked for a couple of years now and unless he is the starting 2nd baseman Luis will mope and be an all-out fucking malcontent.  Why keep him around? Like Oliver Perez, he’s more trouble than he’s worth.

Just by looking at the starting lineups for today’s spilt squad games you can see the manager wants no part of this slap hitting, diminished range, piss poor attitude has been. Castillo will start today in Viera against the Nats but as the DH. Murphy will start at 2nd base. Over in Jupiter, Brad Emaus will start against the Fish and with Luis Hernandez on the roster in Jupiter he will most likely spell Emaus at 2nd as Hernandez has made himself a dark horse candidate in the this position race.

Meanwhile over in the minor league backfields of St. Lonesome , Reese Havens works out and hopes he can stay healthy because if he does he will be the Mets 2nd baseman by Memorial Day.   

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LUUUUUUUUUUUUISSSSSSSS COME OUT TO PLAYYYYYYYYY!

I agree 100 % with Terry Collins that Luis Castillo should have gotten to camp early since his job is on the line. You would think a guy who the majority of Mets fans look at with distain and a big part of the failures of past management knowing that there are three guys lining up every morning in St Lonesome, auditioning for the manager to be the next Mets 2nd base Idol. No matter which side of the Castillo fence you fall on, every Mets fan has to agree that at this stage of his baseball career, Castillo cannot just waltz into camp with a cavalier attitude that was tolerated in years past in this organization.  Whereas Castillo would have been met with and hug and a laugh by management in the past he will now be greeted with a “Where the fuck have you been”? It’s about time.

My doubts about Terry Collins are starting to lessen. When I met him at the Mets Christmas Party the first questioned I had for him was about getting this team to be more aggressive and passionate and to stop being patsies for the division. I told Collins in my opinion, every team in the NL East thinks of the Mets as a bunch of chumps, how do you change that mind set? Collins assured me that was one of the first things he wanted to change. He tried not to disparage his predecessor but he said he agreed with me about the team allowing the opposition to intimate them and it will be a big part of his job to change that immediately.  From reading John Harper’s story today, it looks like Collins has started his one for all all for one campaign:

Indeed, the new manager of the Mets thinks it’s important to instill some toughness, some brothers-in-arms spirit, in his ballclub. Remember the famous Chase Utley take-out slide of Ruben Tejada last September? The one the Mets took without retaliation?

Collins wouldn’t have stood for such a passive response.

“In Philly there would have been a fight,” he said Friday, “no doubt about it.”

Collins made it clear he wasn’t looking to criticize Jerry Manuel when I asked him Friday how he would have handled such a situation. In fact, he said a manager always walks a fine line on such matters, as not all players respond well to being put in a position where retaliation is expected.

“But there’s still an unwritten code about how to protect your teammates,” Collins said. “So I do believe in situations like that, there’s a right way to handle it.

“And that’s something that starts right here in spring training. That’s going to be part of my message on Monday when I speak to the team. We’re going to bring a team together and we’re going to watch each other’s backs.”

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TONY BERNAZARD FOR EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR

When Willie Randolph was let go a lot of venom was spewed in the direction of Tony Bernazard, Omar Minaya’ First Lieutenant and the Mets Director of Player Development .Bernazard was portrayed as a meddler and was no fan of Randolph and was one of the voices in Omar’s head to can Willie. I bring this up today because as I was reading John Harpers pieces in the Daily News today , he mentions how it was Bernazard who pushed for the promotion of Daniel Murphy, Nick Evans and Argenis Reyes all three have made big contributions to the resurgence of the Mets season. Bernazard also looks to have made the big decision to give Jon Niese a start last night which from listening to J-Man was not his first choice to start last night. I’d love to know how hard J-Man pushed to have either Brain Stokes or Nelly Figs get the start last night. From the parting words of Willie Randolph it is hinted that Bernazard and Manuel have a very good relationship and difference of opinion is good as who wants “yes” men around them al the time. So I’m sure J-Man made his case but in the end Tony B had a stronger case. Taken on face value, J-Man was most likely right about going with either Figs or Stokes or even returning Olympian Brandon Knight, not because of the green gills of Neise but with Santana and OP sandwiched around Neise that’s three lefties in a row which you want to avoid at any cost but especially with a team like the Brewski’s who pound left handed pitching. Remember back a few months ago the Mets moved John Maine up in the rotation to go between Santana and OP as J-Man wanted to avoid the three lefties rotation. But back to TB, I never thought of him as a villain that the media made him out to be now I don’t know the guy but I have to give him props for running a better minor league system than we all thought the Mets had.. All the so called expert publications told us Mets fans that the organization was lacking in Major League ready and lucky for the team they were wrong. 

 

So now Petey is working out to get his arm loose as that was the reason for him not feeling “comfortable” in his last start in Miami.  You all know I’m a Petey fan boy but he is becoming like an old car that burns oil and keeps breaking down. As much affection as I have for the Great Petey no matter how the season turns out it’s time to let Petey ride off into the sunset, as there is no reason to bring him back next season. Too much maintenance.

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