Mar 21

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 30

Updating the mess that is Perez

News Oliver Perez has thrown 10 scoreless innings in the Mexican Leagues is best greeted with a who-cares yawn. Afterall, we’ve heard news of such prowess during spring training and rehab assignments before only to watch him unravel when facing major league hitters.

Word his fastball barely touches 90 isn’t encouraging news. Low-velocity pitchers can be successful, but only if their control is impeccable and they know how to set up and work hitters. That has never been the case with Perez.

When Perez was having problems several years ago, I wondered how he might do in situational relief because he still had his fastball. But, that’s gone and he must rely on guile and smarts, both of which he has in short supply.

Even so, Perez will probably get a chance to earn a role in spring training because the Mets don’t have many options and it doesn’t appear as if they’ll be signing anything significant this winter.

They’d love to trade him, but that’s not going to happen. Nobody wants to pay $12 million for all that baggage. Even if the Mets eat a large portion of his contract, Perez isn’t attractive based on what has happened.

Cutting him loose is something we all think about, but Sandy Alderson isn’t likely to do that because the Mets don’t want to pay for nothing. Solution? They will role the dice in the hope Perez finds something that will make him viable. With Hisanori Takahashi gone and Pedro Feliciano declining arbitration today, Perez will get an opportunity by default.

Even when he was Coin Flip there was a chance of him throwing a good game. Now, there is none.

If Perez doesn’t have it in the spring and refuses a minor league assignment again, then I can see the Mets ditching him. Alderson is here to change the culture and I don’t see him putting up with another year of carrying Perez on the major league roster and not using him.

Perez’s attitude and performance last year was poisonous and no good can come with duplicating last year.

May 20

Giving back ground ….

Well, 3-0 on this road trip went to 3-3 pretty quickly. I’m not sure what to expect from Livan Hernandez tonight, but it won’t be much more than five innings. Jeff Weaver, I think the Mets could take, but he has his moments.

All of a sudden, the offense stopped hitting and the defense went south. I don’t like how John Maine pitched last night and I’m concerned about him. He’s becoming another Coin Flip. Does anybody really know from one start to the next what to expect from him? I don’t anymore.

Outside of Johan Santana, there’s not one starter that you can be sure on. Check that – I’m sure I won’t get more than six from Hernandez. Who would have expected three balks from Mike Pelfrey?

The defense is a concern, also. Championship teams don’t give away runs and outs the way the Mets have recently.

And, how the offense can hit a wall that suddenly is also puzzling. And, it’s not like they’ve faced overwhelming pitching. They had their chances in each of the last three games.

The Mets were sizzling for awhile, winning 11 of 13 games, but that seems like such a long time ago.

May 02

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #23; a Coin Flip game.

Late to the gate today. It’s an Oliver Perez game, which means I don’t know what to expect. Perez gets the ball because of his success against the Phillies, and if he spits the bit today, then I can see him out of the rotation.

Carlos Delgado is not playing today, but he’s also not going on the DL, either.

Here’s the line-up:

Jose Reyes, SS
Luis Castillo, 2B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Gary Sheffield, RF
David Wright, 3B
Fernando Tatis, 1B
Daniel Murphy, LF
Ramon Castro, C
Oliver Perez, LHP

Apr 27

Hi folks …. give Coin Flip another game.

PEREZ: Patience is wearing thin.

PEREZ: Patience is wearing thin.

I just wanted to thank you all for continuing to post while I was away and your well wishes. It meant a lot to me to see your responses. It told me you like the blog and that made me feel good.

Of course, I heard about the weekend. Two up, one down, with that one again being Oliver Perez. Should the Mets give Coin Flip start this weekend against Philadelphia?

Before shipping him off the bullpen or the minor leagues, I say they should for two reasons:

1) The strength of the Phillies’ line-up are left-handed hitters Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, and he’s had success against Philadelphia. If Perez is going to turn it around, one would think it would be against a team he’s had some good fortune facing.

2) He’s due for a good game.

OK, what if he spits the bit again? If that happens, then the Mets need to seriously think about taking him out of the rotation to fix him. He can reject a minor league assignment – which I see him doing – so they probably have no choice but to stick him in the pen.

I’d rather have him correct his problems on this level because I can envision him in the minor leagues overpowering Triple A hitters and returning to the same problems. Let’s face it, the Mets have this guy for three years and the best thing is to make him better. We know he has the ability because he’s done it before.

Actually, of all the Mets’ starters who are having problems the one I’m most concerned with is John Maine because he’s coming off surgery and everybody’s body reacts differently and at different paces. It’s just an oversimplification to say, “Oh, he’ll be fine,” because we really don’t know.

Livan Hernandez? C’mon, he’s at the end of his career. For him to get hit around is expected. He was good in his first start but has been getting hit since. It should all even out to mediocrity in the end.

Perez? Well, he’s living up to his history so this can’t be too surprising. Just aggravating.