May 16.10: Chat Room, Game #38 at Marlins: Juggling to stop a slide.

It is Oliver Perez’s right – via collective bargaining – to refuse a demotion to the minor leagues. That doesn’t mean he’s any less selfish in refusing.

“I don’t like going to the bullpen,’’ said Perez. “But, I think that’s what’s best for the team.’’

What nonsense.

What’s best for the Mets is the minor leagues, because that’s where he’ll get the most consistent work, and therefore, have the best chance to get himself righted.

However, they can’t make him go. And, despite it being his right, it’s a selfish decision because he’s wasting a roster spot better left for somebody else. Should the Mets decide to bring up somebody from the minors to start, somebody would have to be optioned out. A possible option is Jenrry Mejia to develop him as a starter.

Another aspect of this is it might force them to use Hisanori Takahashi, which weakens the bullpen. A straight change of roles between Takahashi and Perez is possible, but the former pitches when the games are in the balance. The Mets would only want to use Perez in games out of control.

A trade would have been nice, but let’s face it, any trade would either entail the Mets paying a bulk of the balance of his due salary, or an exchange of bad contracts. The guy is a power pitcher who can no longer bring it; he’s not going to net much in return.

Another shake-up with the Mets is overdue, and that’s returning Jose Reyes to the leadoff spot. Reyes’ comment, that it’s like returning home, indicated he was never on-board with this.

It also means Jerry Manuel, however well intentioned, didn’t know Reyes’ temperature on this and that’s not good managing.

A manager has to know how to put players in the situations where they are most apt to be successful and Manuel has wasted Reyes for the better part of a month.

The Mets close their series in Florida today with Jon Niese on the mound in the hope of stopping the losing streak at four games.

Here’s today’s line-up:

Jose Reyes, SS
Alex Cora, 2B
Jason Bay, LF
Chris Carter, RF
David Wright, 3B
Ike Davis, 1B
Angel Pagan, CF
Henry Blanco, C
Jon Niese, LP

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63 thoughts on “May 16.10: Chat Room, Game #38 at Marlins: Juggling to stop a slide.

  1. I can’t believe there’s no artwork today. Is your commitment wavering or something?

    Let’s talk Larry LaRue. Would you have printed that? It seems to me there’s an upside and a downside to going to press with something that volatile, especially with a player of that stature. You get the national attention for the scoop, but look at what’s left behind your wake: Damaged relationships, both for you and the team, and among the players themselves. What say you — what would have you done?

  2. Wow! before spring training i never thought i would see carter in a major league uniform and now hes hitting cleanup.

  3. You know they talked to ollie about going down. he refused and now he will waste a valuable roster spot. wilpon will never do it but they would be better off cutting this guy now.

  4. delcos you are right about manuel. It was easy to see jose was pressing in the third spot. he wanted so bad to see his great idea come to fruition that he waited at least a week too long to admit defeat. At least jose is happy now and maybe he can be productive again hitting leadoff.

  5. (3) As much as it’s not in the best interests of the team, his teammates probably empathize with a veteran who has union status and doesn’t want to go back to the bus rides and crappy hotels of the minors. That’s kind of what the union is for. It really is the intersection of a player’s individual career and the greater good of the team on the whole.

    I bet the Mets will break this stalemate by manufacturing an injury — something along the lines of inflammation or tightness — that will allow them to use the roster spot more effectively while not forcing the minor-league lifestyle on Perez.

  6. By the way, Delcos, when I access this page — this chat — from the main page, none of this conversation comes up. But when I access it through the “related stories” link on the right, the conversations are there. It’s very bipolar.

  7. Tiffany (6): My commitment hasn’t wavered. I assume your kidding. There is something mechanically wrong with downloading art. …. try again accessing through the main page.-JD

  8. Tiffany (5): There’s nothing like a manufactured injury to fix your roster spots. It wouldn’t be the first time it has happened.-JD

  9. (7) It’s there now. The Internet gods are shining down upon you.

    (8) The proof will be in the pudding: Whether Jose actually performs better in his preferred lead-off spot. If he continues to hit .220 there, his preference isn’t worth all that much.

    (9) The NBA, with its guaranteed contracts and a salary cap, solves most of its roster problems through phantom injuries. But, that said, I do think the Cubs are going to implode soon — they’re playing listless ball and all of their starting team seems to be 30 or older. Zambrano for Perez would be an interesting deal to consider. No one is lining up to take Zambrano’s remaining 2.75 years and $49 million — but the Cubs would have to consider exchanging it for 1.75 years and $20 million of Perez.

  10. Tiffany … I know Larry LaRue. Before printing that I would have tried to get a comment from Griffey and/or the manager. I didn’t read the blog post so I don’t know if he did that.-JD

  11. (14) He didn’t run it by Griffey — and he later described that as his big regret in this matter. The other interesting aspect is that it was, as you noted, a blog post, rather than something printed in the newspaper — so you have a whole different set of guidelines/safeguards when it comes to have another set of eyes/ethics reviewing beforehand.

  12. Tiffany (13): The NFL has a lot of phantom injuries, too. …. You’re right about Reyes. He made his preference known. It’s up to him to perform. … I don’t want to pick up another $49 million obligation that would be Zambrano.-JD

  13. Tiffany (15): As a writer you hate to lose your contacts on a blog, which in some cases is like the wild, wild west of journalism. I wouldn’t have done it.-JD

  14. (16) It depends on whether you think Zambrano is done. If he’s still capable of making 30 starts and posting an ERA under 4, it becomes a win-win in that you’re actually turning Perez into something useful. In other words, the commitment is $29 million more, since you’ve already got $20 million sunk in Perez. If he’s not done, Zambrano would look awfully nice slotted in behind Santana and Pelfrey.

  15. (17) It’s a conundrum, for sure, in that you’re paid to observe and report on that — not to act as a co-conspirator within their organization.

    And, there’s the set-up aspect, as well: Why did those two players choose this writer? And what if this writer ignored it and then saw his competition run with it? Did the nap impact what was happening on the field? Arguably, yes. But it’s almost something you’d rather share with the pool of beat writers than to take on all the responsibility individually.

  16. Tiffany (20): You really have to be sure. What if Griffey was sick and given permission to leave the dugout? There were too many holes in the story to run with it unchecked.-JD

  17. Good news for Ollie: It looks like there’ll be an opening in the rotation.

  18. I would do zambrano for perez, but i would ask for some money to offset.

  19. THIRD INNING: Where did the defense go this inning? They give Ross a hit, but that was an error by Wright. He has to make that play by getting in front of the ball.-JD

  20. Mets are half game in front of Atlanta for fourth place but may not be after today. That 9-1 spurt was fun while it lasted but it’s back to reality.

  21. this series has exposed the mets weaknesses of which there are many. besides the pitching, bay still stuck on one HR, francouer a black hole in the lineup for a month, still no word on beltrans return, microfracture surgury still a possiblity. wrights k problem. bad manager, bad GM. not so great closer, burned out bullpen.

  22. Ray (31): That pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it? On a side note, you’d think Bay would have another HR by accident.-JD

  23. If they’re leaving Takahashi into hit for himself, it must mean they envision him starting in Niese’s place five days from now.

  24. I was checking the minors for possible help. Surprised to see we have one guy at AAA with over .300 avg 12 hr and 41 rbis named hessman. too bad he plays 3b. I would start playing him in RF. best pitchers are misch and dickey. a couple of retreads. fmart hurt himself again, surprise, surprise. the lower levels not much better until you get to savannah. Flores having a great year.

  25. perez and niese you mean. I would like to see what the knuckleballer can do.

  26. where did this hessman come from? he must be a 29 year old lifetime minor leaguer picked up from the waiver wire.

  27. Mike Hessman..32 year old 3b/1b/OF played with Atlanta 2003-04, and Detroit 2007-08. Hit .213 or .208 or some such number. Our youth movement at work

  28. Did that home run go four miles or was it five? Just like our Mets to tease us with a comeback but dig themselves deeper in a hole.

  29. By the way, Omar has changed his travel plans and is now headed to Atlanta. Will it be the dawn of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes?

  30. just to beat a dead horse one more time, perez failure is now much more glaring with niese likely to miss significant time.

  31. So do the Mets start to shift their focus on promoting Ike Davis for Rookie of the Year, signaling our season is over before Memorial Day?
    We can’t even get a day respite. Play Monday night in Atlanta.

  32. Swept in Miami. Five straight losses. The pitching is in shambles, The offense is lackluster. The Manuel watch has begun again with Omar heading to Atlanta.-JD

  33. A QUICK WRAP/Game #38

    FINAL: Marlins 10, Mets 8.
    RECORD: 18-20.
    THUMBNAIL ANALYSIS: Fifteen straight games now without a victory from a starter. Two errors highlighted the Marlins’ six-run third that sent the Mets to their fifth straight loss.
    ON THE MOUND: Jon Niese gave up five runs in two innings, but more importantly left the game with a leg injury in the third. … Fernando Nieve gave up a three-run homer to Chris Coghlan in the seventh.
    AT THE PLATE: Jason Bay beat out a ground ball to key a three-run sixth. The Mets added three in the seventh, but the rally fell short. … Gary Mathews had two hits.
    IN THE FIELD: Errors by David Wright and Niese opened the door to Florida’s six-run third. Wright should have had a second error in that inning.
    LOOKING AHEAD: Mike Pelfrey opens the two-game series at Atlanta.-JD

  34. *-9999zsczx

    The cat stepped on the keyboard as I was thinking of something to say. I think he said it more eloquently than I could.

  35. Are reporters going to start congregating outside Bobby V’s house to see if he comes back? Didn’t the Mets hire some retread manager, Bob Melvin, over the winter just in case?

  36. i c jon is hurt.

    this should not be an excuse to keep ollie in the rotation.

  37. 61. I have mentioned getting Bobby V. back several times. I think he is what the team needs. yes he was a pain in the arse but he got results. he had a love afair with leiter which I couldnt stand but in the end he is a far better manager than manuel.

    JD: Here’s a new poll for you.. which is worse an overworked starter throwing say 150+ and less than 200 pitches. or an overworked bullpen that is throwing every day 30-40 pitches each day.

    :-)