I’m so proud to present the last Andy Martino Award to… Andy Martino! Martino's award winning article can be read HERE. Take a Zofran and dive right in then come back and read my comments.
I’ve mocked Martino and his horrific “journalism” plenty in the past but this last piece of garbage is unforgivable.
The last time I handed out an Andy Martino Award, Marcus Hayes was the recipient because of his accusations that Phillies fans were racist in their mistreatment and under-appreciation of Jimmy Rollins. At that time, I avoided a long diatribe on race and sports. And I will do the same this time because this isn’t the best forum for that sort of discussion. But I will say this: the theory that a large group of people of mixed race (ie Mets fans) can agree on one thing (ie disliking Luis Castillo) and that agreement is based on one major, polarizing factor (ie race) is so ridiculous it is not really worth entertaining.
Instead of wasting time arguing about the merits, or lack thereof, of Martino’s theory, I would much rather spend the time destroying Martino and the substance of the article itself. Here are my problems with Martino:
1) It’s a made-up story.
No one is talking about this. Not Castillo. Not the Mets. Not other legit media. Not even those horrible, rumor-mongering blogs. It seems that Martino imagines this scenario for no apparent reason than to fill space and create a talking point that he knows will garner all sorts of attention. And it worked. Go put “Andy Martino + Castillo” in a search engine.
This guy is obviously an attention whore and values that over any sort of journalistic integrity or respect from his readers that he may have once had. What’s he going to do next, go to work in a Speedo? He’ll be perfect for “Around the Horn” in a few years.
2) It’s poorly debated.
“Jose Reyes and Angel Pagan have played well as Mets, and have not faced the same anger. People who root for a team value production, above all other qualities, and have unleashed negativity on many white players in the past.”
So Martino argues that race doesn’t seem to be a factor in who the fans support or don’t support as a way to show that Castillo’s popularity may be affected by his race. If that makes sense to anyone, please explain it to me…
3) It’s race baiting.
If you want to create a race argument or stir up emotions, find someone to use an established negative racial stereotype. However, in the article, you can’t acknowledge that the quotes are actually racist because then you yourself could be accused of being racist. Instead, you have to throw them out there as if you are not really sure what they mean but your suspicion, and your overwhelming concern for the treatment of whatever racial group is being discussed, compels you to include this information in your article. This is where Andy Martino shows he’s a real professional: “In a sampling of recent Twitter posts, he is described as "lazy."”
Boom! Undeniable proof that unidentified Mets fans who use twitter are super-duper racist toward Luis Castillo. So unless you can come up with non-racist quotes from Mets fans on Facebook or Wikipedia, consider yourself served by @AndyMartino. Boom!
4)It’s conveniently missing information.
Martino presents Castillo like he was productive player as a Met, mentioning that he “batted .302 in 2009, and played through injuries while many of his Mets teammates spent their summer on the disabled list.” Castillo is further described as “one of the toughest and most passionate Mets.” Martino would like you to think that he should be a popular player. And to do so he neglects to mention that two of Castillo’s three full seasons with the Mets resulted in less than 90 games played per year due to injury and an OPS in the .630 range. Mentioning he hit .302 during one season is like saying Danny Tartabull averaged over a walk per game with the Phillies. It tells only a small, insignificant portion of the story. Also, is he “tough” because he didn’t miss half of every season with an injury?
Another thing that wasn’t mentioned, because I’m sure Martino thinks no fan would consider this when evaluating Castillo, was the four year $25 ¬million dollars he was earning. Pretty, pretty, pretty irrelevant, don’t you think?
Martino, while he does mention Pagan and Reyes as examples of Latino ballplayers generally supported by the fans, he probably should also mention that the Mets have been a team very heavily populated by popular Latino players in the last few years. Santana, Delgado, and Beltran are All-Stars but also have had similar problems to Castillo (injuries, missed games, drops in production) or worse (see: K-Rod) yet maintained general support among the fans. The fact is, Castillo is just different…
5)It’s without courage.
The purpose of this article is very clear. But in the end, Martino didn’t even have the decency, or the nuts, to call Mets fans racist outright. No, he’s just merely asking the question, right?