By Mike Steffanos
I've been writing a lot of real long posts the last couple of weeks. I like doing it, but sometimes it's nice to make a simple point that doesn't require quite so many words.
I've written about Luis Castillo fairly extensively, and I think most of us are in agreement that Minaya gave him too many years in the contract he signed. The odds of Castillo being worth anything close to the $6 million he will be paid at age 35 in the final year of the deal seem rather small.
On the other hand, there is an incredible pessimism in some quarters among the faithful that seems to accept it as a given that Castillo will fail to bounce back and provide decent production this season.
Castillo is 33 years old and has had a nice career. He was overweight, gimpy, and just plain not good last season. Keep in mind, though, that he actually was very good the season before, including his 50 games with the Mets. In September he was one of the few who played well down the stretch.
He's in shape, has something to prove, and there simply is no reason that he can't provide solid production at second base. At this point, how much he is being paid is moot.
A friend and fellow Mets fan told me a couple of weeks ago that he thought it would take a miracle for Castillo to survive the season in New York. While I agree that it will be very tough for him to overcome the animosity built up last season, I'm thinking that even without divine intervention it can be done.
I've heard a lot of comparisons to Kaz Matsui, but Kaz had no major league track record of success to draw confidence from when things went bad here. Castillo has been a very good player -- a three-time All Star and two-time World Champion.
I do think he has a tough road back into grace, but I do think that sometimes we get so negative here -- understandably, perhaps, given the last two seasons -- that we tend to give more credence to why things could go wrong rather than the other possibility that they could actually go right.
I'm just saying.