Perez error over

GM Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins closed the door this morning on the Mets’ career of Oliver Perez, arguably one of the most scored players in franchise history when they released the frustratingly erratic pitcher known as Coin Flip.

There were no 50-50 odds on Perez when spring training began and giving up back-to-back homers in a relief outing over the weekend was the final image of him in a Mets’ uniform.

PEREZ: We rarely saw him celebrate.

Perez is now free to pass GO, collect $12 million and sign with any team for the major league minimum. For those counting at home, that would be an additional $414,500.

I don’t begrudge Perez the money like some. Afterall, nobody put a gun to then GM Omar MInaya and forced him to offer Perez that contract. What was Perez supposed to do, turn it down?

What annoys me most about Perez is not that he lost his fastball, or never had command. That happens. It’s part of baseball. What was most upsetting about the Perez era was how things were handled last season. Perez said frequently this spring he is trying to get better every time he pitches. It’s the proper thing to say, but rings hollow after last summer.

When it became clear he was losing it, Perez refused to take the minor league assignment that could have helped his mechanics. There was no guarantee, but he had a better chance working things out in the minors than by languishing in the bullpen by himself as the Mets played with a 24-man roster.

Just because it was Perez’s contractual right to refuse the assignment, it doesn’t make it the right thing to do. And, it certainly contradicted Perez’s statements on self-improvement.

The Perez saga paralyzed a reeling team and he became a symbol of all that was wrong and subsequently a pariah in the clubhouse. Nobody denied Perez put the effort in, but there was groaning about playing short and he deprived another player a chance to play. As the losses mounted, it was hard to find supporters in the clubhouse, especially after the bullpen coughed up another game.

Perez made Jerry Manuel’s job more difficult, and with the manager knowing he’d be fired, his parting gift to the Mets – and the fans who booed him – was to give them one last glimpse of the erratic left-hander who put himself ahead of the team. After barely pitching in the second half, there was little doubt he would give it up one more time, and it was symbolically fitting Perez would lose the final game of a lost season.

After Luis Castillo was given his release – he has since been signed by Philadelphia – Alderson said the decision in part was made by the negativity that swirled around him and his perception by Mets fans. The perception of Perez is far worse because the sum is greater and that he represents wasted potential and the disaster that has been the last three seasons.









11 thoughts on “Perez error over

  1. Contracts are a hit or miss. you dont want to lose a commodity so you give them a good contract. the problem is when the “ore” runs out and the commodity is a liability and you still have the contracts around your neck like a noose.
    damned if you do, damned if you dont.
    Like you said, a player making his money should have done everything possible to fix himself and actually earn it. Did Perez try, sure , in his own mind he thought he could get better. But his ego wouldnt let him take the direction and sound advice of legends. Shame on him.’

  2. I agree. Every player will gladly take what is offered. Being public they then have to deal with it when they don’t “earn” the money.

    Ollie is emblematic of Minaya’s stay here. Get someone and hope they have a career year. We had Ollie for several years and yet the team hoped a 10 year veteran who never knew how to pitch would just get better than he ever was.

    There were many here who liked Ollie and preferred him to other players because of his upside.

    Ollie is set for life, so I won’t cry for him. But it is hard to get fired no matter how you slice it.

  3. One more thing.

    To the argument that Ollie made the manager’s life more difficult, they could have just cut him, but they did not. Self inflicted wounds that I cannot totally place blame on a selfish, proud player.

  4. Castillo is in Phillies campe for a try and buy contract.

    $18 Million purged. That is a big deal for a team in financial trouble.

    This never would have happened last year for reasons more than just money.

  5. I will never cry for anyone that makes millions for doing nothing. take the money retire become a sports caster or announcer. something..
    we need to move on. Lets see where all this dumping of dead weight gets us.

  6. Another piece of the minaya regime is cast off. The baseball Gods smiled on the mets the day they showed omar the door. Unfortunately there are still more bad contracts out there. I dont have much hope for Beltran being productive again. So 3 good years, one bad and the rest on the DL. I am afraid Santana will also follow this pattern which started with Pedro and may carry on for several more years. I see Feliciano is on the DL for the yankees. I bet omar would have resigned him after riding him like a mule for 3 years. Speaking of the skanks I saw a report they may be interested in Ollie. thats a good one.

  7. Omar Minaya compounded his Oliver Perez error when he didn’t snag Carlos Zambrano even-up for Perez last summer. All Z did was go 8-0 from August until season’s end. In a sad irony, Minaya turned down the Cubs offer — because he wanted the Cubs to also take Luis Castillo off his hands…

  8. The gift that keeps on giving…

    The Mets now owe a total of $19 million to former players: $12 million to Perez, $6 million to Luis Castillo and $1 million to Gary Matthews Jr. That is by far the most money currently owed to former players of any team