It's Mets For Me: Off-Beat, Tangentially Relevant Mets Ruminations

Off Base Since 2005! Mets commentary from the counter-intuitive to the unintuitive and all the intuitives in between. ** "Through the use of humor and gross inaccuracy...a certain truth can be gained." Rob Perri ** (pester me or follow me @itsmetsforme on twitter)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Farewell Ramon Castro! (Don't let the door hit ya, as it could cause injury)

The Mets caused a lot of controversy among some fanboys by trading Ramon Castro to the White Sox for a bag of balls or something. The
battle lines are drawn, and now Castro is more popular than ever. Do the fanboys, who are taking out there grievances on Mets new starting catcher and not-Brian Schneider Omir Santos, who they believe to have cunningly cemented his role in the line-up through recourse to devious late inning heroics that have led to several high profile (and highly satisfying) wins, have a case? Ironically, Santos is loathed for his propensity for well timed hits, the very thing (if not the only thing) that Castro was proficient at, other than drawing pay for sitting in the trainers room.

No one but the Flying Spaghetti Monster knows why Omar paid HEAD's way out of town, exactly. It could have something to do, as Rotoworld notes, that Castro "might be the one under-35 player in baseball with no desire to trade a bench role for a starting job." It could have something to do with the 2 year, $4.6 million dollar contract that Omar signed him to, or that he is 33 years of age. But it was clear the Mets wanted one of their mediocre backup catchers gone, and the spinner stopped on the perpetually injured, possible sex offender, occasional supplier of pop with the humongous noggin. I didn't mind him as a player when he could drag himself onto the field, especially relative to the options, but I can't for the life of me understand the sudden romanticizing of his Mets tenure. Outside of Wiggington, it is the strangest case of overrating-homerism that I have seen in memory. As a backup catcher, he couldn't stay healthy, particularly in the late part of the season (READ: collapse-time). Does anything say "dispensable" quite like that?

To say goodbye and let the healing begin, let's look at the highlights of HEAD's fabled Met tenure:

Seen as Marlins catcher of the future while in the minors, but slowed by a knee injury

*Pleaded no contest to misdemeanor indecent assault charge stemming from an alleged rape the facts of which were enough, at least, to convince the Pittsburg police to file felony charges of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault and unlawful restraint against Castro. Evidently a perfect fit for the Wilpons' family values theme and they signed him in December!

*Limited to just 32 games due to a toe injury
: (Ramon Castro was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday after removing himself in the second inning of the Reds' 7-6, 10-inning victory.)


*Injuries further reduced his role in 2006, limiting him to 126 at-bats.
*Spends August and September incapacitated, starting a proud tradition.


*Strains hamstring late in spring training, "loses" job to Schneider.
*Spends August and September, not collapsing, but recovering from back injury.


Various right ankle and quadriceps injuries in August result in DL
time, gone in September and part of August too, so at least he's not involved in collapsathon!

Here is the fullest injury history I could find, as culled from SBNation:

May 29, 2009
Traded to White Sox
May 12, 2009
Missed 2 games (quadricep injury).
May 10, 2009
Quadricep injury, day-to-day.
September 12, 2008
Missed 12 games (quadricep injury).
August 27, 2008
Quadricep & ankle injury, 15-day DL.
August 12, 2008
Missed 3 games (right ankle injury).
August 9, 2008
Right ankle injury, day-to-day.
August 7, 2008
Missed 3 games (sprained right ankle).
August 3, 2008
Sprained right ankle, day-to-day.
June 2, 2008
Missed 2 games (left elbow injury).
May 31, 2008
Left elbow injury, day-to-day.
May 9, 2008
Missed 32 games (strained right hamstring).
March 30, 2008
Strained right hamstring, 15-day DL.
November 16, 2007
Re-signed as a free agent by the New York Mets
to a two-year contract.
September 15, 2007
Missed 29 games (lower back pain).
August 18, 2007
Lower back pain, 15-day DL.
August 14, 2007
Lower back pain, day-to-day.
September 27, 2006
Missed 56 games (ribcage injury).
August 24, 2006
Transferred from the 15-day DL to the 60-day
DL (ribcage injury).
August 4, 2006
Ribcage injury, 15-day DL.
July 30, 2006
Ribcage injury, day-to-day.
January 10, 2006
Re-signed by the New York Mets to a one-year contract.
June 2, 2005
Missed 16 games (strained right quadriceps).
May 16, 2005
Strained right quadriceps, 15-day DL.
April 2, 2005
Contract purchased from Norfolk (AAA).
December 23, 2004
Signed by the New York Mets to a minor league contract
and invited to spring training.
October 19, 2004
Opted for free agency.
October 4, 2004
Missed 110 games to the end of the regular season (toe injury).
July 31, 2004
Transferred from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL (toe injury).
June 1, 2004
Toe injury, 15-day DL.
December 19, 2003
Re-signed by the Florida Marlins to a one-year contract.
September 30, 2003
Not on playoff roster.
March 1, 2003
Re-signed by the Florida Marlins to a one-year contract.
June 8, 2002
Missed 18 games (strained right elbow).
May 18, 2002
Strained right elbow, 15-day DL.

So the result I reach is that this was no big loss. Was it regrettable that Schneider couldn't be the one to go? Sure. But the Mets realize they have a shitty starting catcher getting paid $5 mil or something who couldn't hit his way out of a Girl Scout meeting, see something in Santos (along with many fans), and figure what the hell, give the rolly polly little fella a chance, we are screwed for next year anyhow! Can Santos stay off the DL and hit the occassional homerun? Will Omir bother to block the plate? Will his heroics continue? Who knows, but he's sure fun to watch. As for HEAD! good luck collecting that paycheck buddy! Don't worry, your August break is just around the corner.

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  • At 5:03 AM, Anonymous jdon said…

    I didn't even know that Ramon had quads.

  • At 6:04 AM, Anonymous Joe D. said…

    Great post and I totally agree. I've read all these posts on the Castro trade saying how the Mets screwed up, and how Omir is a big fat zero, and I'm not buying it.

    I love what I see from Omir and would take him over Castro ANY day.

  • At 8:44 AM, Anonymous G-Fafif said…

    Ramon had several big hits as a Met. isn't that what guys who hung around for several years are supposed to have collected at the very least?

  • At 10:51 AM, Blogger I.M. Forme said…

    He had some big hits for sure. But if he stays on schedule, the Mets would only be getting another 2 months out of him this season anyhow, then Santos would be getting key September at-bats anyhow.

  • At 10:58 PM, Anonymous G-Fafif said…

    Castro's 0-for-8 as a White Sock. Why doesn't Ozzie Guillen understand the gem he's been handed? He could be 2-for-16 with more ABs.


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