SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Mets Have Reassuring Words for Luis Castillo

This from the New York Times today.

It reminds me of a scene from the movie Donnie Brasco. Sonny Black's crew is sitting around their social club talking about opportunities to earn. It might even be the scene where Lefty (played by Al Pacino) is sitting at a table trying to smash open a parking meter with a hammer. In any event, the guys are talking about what they have going, and the best opportunity was one associate who said that he had boosted two dozen tickets to a Rufus & Chaka Khan concert to scalp.

No Lufthansa heist. No big con. Just those tickets.

Reassuring words for Luis Castillo?

To quote the producer (played by Dustin Hoffman) in Wag the Dog, what this calls for is a diversion, a "pageant." In that movie, it was a military action. In this movie, after all the bad news about the Wilpons and Bernie Madoff, plus the injury to Johan Santana and the seemingly neverending saga of Carlos Beltran's knee, the Mets need a big splash. Running a story about reassuring Luis Castillo somehow doesn't qualify, and I have nothing against either the Mets or Castillo. In fact, as a Phillies fan, I think that the Philllies and the entire league will play better baseball when they know that the Mets are hot on their trail -- the rivalry brings out the best in everyone. So, I take no joy in the Mets' problems, even though sometimes I've had to listen to grief from ungracious and overzealous Mets' fans (and, sure, there are the ungracious, overzealous and uncouth among Phillies' fans too). And I don't for a moment think that the Red Sox' and Phillies' off-season signings all would have happened had the Mets been financially healthier than they are. Somehow, I could have seen Carl Crawford running around Citi Field making life miserable for the entire National League.

So, the next move is up to the Mets and their front office. The Yankees have Jeter, Sabathia, Posada, Rivera and A-Rod to grab headlines and draw attention. Sadly, the Mets have very little.

For now.

But that will change.

It always does in baseball.