Sayonara

The sad Met saga of Kaz Matsui has come to an end. The Mets traded the dislocated second baseman, along with a sack of cash, yesterday to the Colorado Rockies for veteran utilityman Eli Marerro, thus ending one of the more regrettable and confounding stories in recent Met history. Acquired with great fanfare in the 2003-04 offseason, Kaz was presented with the No. 25 jersey and proclaimed “I love New York,” but the city — and his team — didn’t much love him back. An incredibly poor decision in ’04 to use him at shortstop did no favors for him, the Mets or displaced teammate Jose Reyes, and managed to turn the fans, particularly the mook contingent at Shea, against him. Since then he seemed to have frustrated his manager with frequent injuries and subpar hitting, and thoughout appeared unable to overcome a massive cultural and communication gap, yet remained respectful and sportsmanlike until the end and that — along with his opening-day homers — is something we’ll always admire about him. And while we take no pleasure in seeing him go, his most recent struggles, and Jose Valentin’s emphatic claiming of the second base duties, left him a man without a second country and called out for the kind of versatile backupityness that Marerro can provide. Though the Rockies have relagated Kaz to their AAA team in Colorado Springs, we hope he kicks all kinds of butt down there and salvages what he can of a stay in the states more difficult than anyone might have imagined.

The well-traveled Marrero is scheduled to arrive for this evening’s game. He has worn Nos. 16, 26 and 11 in previous stops — all taken here. Update: He appeared Sunday June 11 in 32,most recently cashiered by Jeremi Gonzalez (remember him?)

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