Goodbye, Coconut Head.
Ramon Castro had been the backup catcher for the Mets since 2005, making David Wright, Jose Reyes, and relief pitcher Pedro Feliciano the only current Mets who have been with the team longer.
More than four consecutive seasons with the same team is nothing to sneeze at in today's game, especially for a backup player. So it has to be at least a little sad for Mets' fans to see Castro go, even with the emergence of Omir Santos.
My fondest baseball memory of Castro is from a late August game against the Phillies in 2005, during the heat of the National League wildcard race. I was at Shea Stadium when Castro hit a three-run homer in the eighth to give the Mets the lead and eventually the win, tying them with the Astros and pulling them within a half-game of the Phils and Marlins for the wild card.
The occassional home run was something Mets fans came to expect from Castro. He was adequate behind the plate but as slow as molasses on the bases, the definition of a station-to-station baserunner.
Castro was also a well-known prankster in the Mets clubhouse. Yet my favorite memory of Castro is when he was the victim of a dugout prank, courtesy of David Wright. This picture pretty much sums it up:
I can't look at that and not laugh. His bigger-than-average head makes it even funnier.
It certainly made sense to move Castro, as I am not in favor of carrying three catchers. Hopefully reliever Lance Broadway can be a valuable part of the Mets pitching staff in the future.
But it is sad to see a personality like that go. White Sox fans should expect a fun-loving guy. Just don't expect him to go first to third on a single.