NEW YORK (WFAN) — Mets general manager Sandy Alderson admits he’s baffled by all the attention surrounding Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez.

“It’s a little odd,” Alderson said after New York’s 4-3 loss to Minnesota. “I think it does distract one from taking a look at the team as a whole and having a more balanced view of the team as a whole. It’s easy to focus in on a couple of negatives and kind of ride that into the ground.”

Manager Terry Collins said last month that he would be looking for an offense-minded player for second base. Castillo, New York’s second baseman under Jerry Manuel, has not hit — since 2009. Meanwhile, Perez seems to be on his last legs with the franchise, relegated to fighting for a bullpen specialist role.

“It’s human nature,” said Alderson. “There is interest in those two players in our fan base. It is natural for there to be quite a bit of coverage about those two. They are among the most debated players.”

Debated… or despised?

“New Yorkers accept the agony of defeat, not apathy in defeat,” columnist Jason Keidel wrote last month. “Despite the sheen of Madison Avenue and NYC’s reputation for opulence, our town was built on blue-collar grit. And Perez is antithetical to that ethic.”

“The perception of those two players lingers, and I would be foolish if it weren’t a factor,” Alderson said. “It’s not going to be the only factor, necessarily, but we have to deal with reality, and sometimes those perceptions have to be taken into account.”

In the last year of a four-year contract, Castillo hasn’t done anything special to help himself stand out at second base. Neither have Brad Emaus, Daniel Murphy or Justin Turner. In fact, a dark horse has emerged in youngster Luis Hernandez.

“I don’t think anybody has broken away from the pack,” Alderson said. “One would like to see some separation, but maybe we’ll see that in the next few days.”

What’s your take on Perez and Castillo? Sound off in the comments below…

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