Unless Citi Field were to suddenly gain the power of speech (or Bernie Madoff were allowed to throw out the first pitch of Opening Day), there’s no greater personifications of the New York Mets’ recent woes than LHP Oliver Perez and 2B Luis Castillo. Eager to turn the page, General Manager Sandy Alderson (above, left) would prefer if you focused on something besides Omar Minaya’s two most prominent contract gaffes. From the New York Daily News’ Andy Martino :
“It’s a little odd,” Alderson said. “I think it does distract one from taking a look at the team as a whole and having a more balanced view of the team as a whole. It’s easy to focus in on a couple of negatives and kind of ride that into the ground.”
Many reasons – large contracts, declining performances, and conflicting perceptions of their character inside and outside the locker room – have led to fan dislike of Perez and Castillo, and focus on whether they will remain Mets. Perez is a longshot to earn a bullpen job, and Alderson reiterated he might eliminate second base candidates in the next few days.
Alderson is left to speculate on why players who might not be with the Mets on Opening Day have gotten so much attention.
“It’s human nature,” he said. “There is interest in those two players in our fan base. It is natural for there to be quite a bit of coverage about those two. They are among the most debated players.”
The GM even conceded that public perception will be a part of the team’s ultimate decision, although would not supersede performance.
“We have to deal with reality, and sometimes those perceptions have to be taken into account.” Alderson’s weighing of those complex factors, which include a view that second base is an offensive position, will intensify over the next few days. The front office will solicit opinions from Terry Collins and the coaching staff, and begin to make decisions. “Obviously we would love to have a consensus, but at some point who is on the team or not on the team is probably my decision, with strong input from Terry and the coaches and the scouts who watch us on a daily basis,” Alderson said.