Tag Archive for Oliver Perez

Go 4th and Prosper

68Looks like Rule 5 acquiree Brad Emaus is going to win the starting second-base job with the Mets, and I’m OK with that. I had zero confidence in Daniel Murphy’s ability to hold down the fort defensively, and, although I have hopes he’ll be a useful bench player for the Mets, I’d sure like to see him regain those life-or-death intentions he had at plate back when he debuted with the Mets in ’08.

Emaus apparently told some radio interviewers that he’d ditch the unseemly No. 68 he’s been wearing in Spring for the more dignified No. 4 should he make the squad. That number belonged to longshot infielder Russ Adams this spring, to Henry Blanco last year, and to a long line of stinky short-timers before you get to Robin Ventura’s dignified reign from 1999-2001. Until then, No. 4 was one of the better numbers in Mets history, having been shared by Ron Swoboda, Rusty Staub and Lenny Dykstra, not to mention Bruce Boisclair. So here’s hoping Emuas has more Nails in him than Wood(ward).

In the meantime that minor-league assignment Mets fans clamored for Oliver Perez to take will finally happen, but happen for the Nationals, who signed the disgraced lefty to a bush league contract after the Mets finally cut ties with him on Monday. You could look it up: I was in favor of Perez’ signing in ’08, and might do it again. (Dig also my prescient take on the closing situation, what a disaster that ’08 offseason became). I think Ollie’s issues were physical, coming into camp out of shape in ’09 leading to knee troubles from which he never really recovered physically. I think the whole circus of the attempted minor-league assignment and subsequent doghousing was handled poorly last year, and I wish that instead of burying the guy and playing shorthanded for half a year, they’d have just given Perez enough rope to hang himself last summer and avoid the depressing death watch this Spring Training became.

Perez departure makes the dreaded No. 46 available again but I’d be surprised to see it issued for awhile, and it’s just as well.

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I Can’t Get No

What an unsatisfying week of Mets baseball this turned out to be. It’d be nice to get a few walkoff victories without first blowing leads, because the alternative is what we wound up with today. The continued ineffectiveness of both Gary Matthews Jr. and Frank Catalanotto has got to be pressuring the front office to do something by now, although Matthews looks like he’ll be hard to move if only because he plays center field and most potential replacements do not. Chris Carter ought to be in Catalanotto’s job by now but it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Mets give Daniel Murphy the first shot, and allow his imminent return to light the fire.

Believe me, the bench is hardly the only thing wrong with this group. Jerry Manuel is still managing too passively and twisting himself in knots in pursuit of a “shutdown bullpen” that simply doesn’t exist, and the starting pitching still has issues, chief among them Oliver Perez. The Nationals visit this week and we’re not careful they could put us further behind them than we already are. Ack!

Amazin’ Tuesday Update: Although we’re saddened by the unfortunate closing of Two Boots Tavern on the Lower East Side, we’re pleased to be back next week at Two Boots Grand Central. Join me, Greg Prince of Faith & Fear in Flushing; Taryn Cooper of My Summer Family and Josh Wilker, author the outstanding CARDBOARD GODS website and book, as we talk Mets, eat good pizza and watch the Mets-Braves game from Atlanta. As always your first beer is free in exchange for a Mets baseball card. Two Boots is located in the lower dining concourse at Grand Central Station. Hope to see you there!

Help me help my sister fight Lou Gehrig’s Disease: Join me the in the Walk to Defeat ALS May 15 or sponsor my team. Thanks!

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The Garment District

Or, 35 and Broadway: That’s the uni Lance Broadway turned up in yesterday, in his first appearance with the Mets since being acquired from the White Sox earlier this year for Ramon Castro. Broadway arrived when the Mets noticed something was wrong with Oliver Perez. Broadway is the first Met to suit up in 35 since Bazooka Joe Smith last season.

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Good Golly, It’s Ollie

Now that it looks as if injuries and an underperforming second defense will be the things that kill this Mets team dead, here comes Oliver Perez.

The enigmatic lefty rejoins the rotation tonight against the Dodgers — I’ll be watching up in Section 521 if you want to say hi or commiserate. To make room the Mets returned Argenis Reyes back to where he belongs in Buffalo. His legacy as a No. 11 may be a pointless turn as a leadoff hitter that hastened the Mets’ demise and eroded even more of my confidence in Jerry Manuel, who I liked a lot only a few months ago.

Seems that Manuel has become trapped in a device of his own making. While his team was at full strength he opted to play passively so as to build for a second half, only to find that second half just may arrive without the horses. If this team is teaching us anything perhaps it’s to consider the possibily of disaster down the road before one pinch-hits one catcher for another with the winning run on base, or employs character-building but ultimately foolish strategies like sacrifice bunts as often as Jerry did early this year.

That, and, you know, the value of catching the ball when it’s hit to you.

* * *

With that out of the way, who wants to get together and watch more of this team?

Last month’s Metstock gathering at Two Boots Tavern was a great success with a roomful of Met fans meeting, greeting and eating while hearing readings from three Mets-related books including mine. Owner Phil Hartman was so jazzed about its success he’s asked Greg Prince and myself to organize similar monthly gatherings featuring literary readings, game-watching, consciousness raising, pizza eating, Rheingold drinking, cocktail shaking, Yankee baiting, memorabilia gawking and seven steps support as needed.

The first such “Amazin Tuesday” is scheduled for July 21 at 7 p.m. and will feature guests including Paul Lukas, ESPN columnist, Met fan and creator of the incomparable “Uni Watch” and author Mathew Silverman, who co-authored MBTN and more recently, Shea Goodbye with Keith Hernandez.

Two Boots is located at 384 Grand Street on the Lower East Side. Any more questions, just ask — hope to see you there!

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Why Ask for More When He Knows What’s in Store?

Stop beating on Oliver Perez, everybody.

46He’s pitched terribly this year, for sure, but the next guy who smugly explains away his struggles to a “10-cent head” is gonna get it. For one thing, most jocks are thick, and being a little slow out there is a virtue sometimes, if you insist on a literal interpretation of the remark. But I think there’s more to it than that. A physical injury, particularly a non-deblilitating but bothersome one such as tendonitis, is a perfectly reasonable explanation (not to mention consistent with Dan Warthen‘s complaint that Perez showed up out of shape this year) if only Ollie were offered the same benefit of the doubt as, for example, a teammate who also appears to struggle with control and confidence and makes problems for the bullpen by failing to last too deep into games.

No, I’m not encoraging the cheap shots extend to John Maine, just pointing out that what Perez needs now is rest and the same support his teammates should expect. There is plenty more to worry about.

Like, for instance, his replacement in the rotation for now, Jonathon Niese, recalled upon Ollie’s assignment to the DL. Still wearing No. 49, Niese gave the Mets a few good outings, and a few not-so-good ones, late last season.It appears Niese will last only until the organization thinks Tim Redding is ready. In case you forgot, Redding was wearing No. 44 when a string of bad starts indicated a ten-cent head injury in St. Lucie this spring.

In other news, Casey Fossum refused a demotion to Buffalo and signed instead with the Yankees. Loser.

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What Happens in Vegas?

So I’d be very surprised if the Mets don’t come out of Las Vegas this week having captured Francisco Rodriguez (please, don’t call him K-Rod) and insisting we’ll be all the better for it.

Is that all you got?But let us not forget that going into the new season with a reliable closer only puts the Mets on the exact same footing they were the last three seasons, and none of them ended quite like we wanted. And none of those years began with ownership pledging an idiotic credo of “addition by subtraction,” which plays great on WFAN but seems naive and foolish at best in practice. And, inasmuch as paying top dollar for the top reliever indicates the Mets intend to “go for it” once again in 2009, my concerns — beyond what number Rodriguez might wear since No. 57 is occupied by Johan Santana — are only beginning.

There’s the need for reliable starting pitching. I’m optimistic about Pelfrey’s progress and think he can make more of it next year but until he demonstrates he can get people out via the strikeout I’m not entirely comfortable. I like Maine if he’s healthy, but who knows. I’m all for giving Niese and Jason Vargas (who also needs a new a number) a shot at the end, but I’d sure like out chances with a known quantity mixed in along with them, and preferably someone with a potential to be very good some nights if not all. Hey… How about Oliver Perez?

And can we get serious about the bench? If Jerry Hairston Jr. is out there and you intend on winning the division, you can’t prefer Marlon Anderson to him. Reports have the Mets kicking the tires on Twins scrubeenie Nick Punto, that’s a little more encouraging.

And not to sound like a complete pessimist, but I’m concerned that the everyday lineup needs plenty of improvement. I was never much of an advocate for Luis Castillo  but is there anyone in that lineup you see improving significantly except for him? That is going to take some creativity to address.

So while we wish Omar luck in his pursuits out West this week let’s remember that gathering in an ace closer is only the start, and probably, the easiest card he’s got to play. It’s all that other stuff — bench, offense, rotation — that will win the day.

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Going Shopping

I have no idea what will happen this offseason but I’ll tell you this. I’m sitting here hoping the Mets just don’t throw the most money at the guy with the most saves, which is what they did the last time and look where it got them: Feeling pressure to throw the most money at the guy with the most saves, and still on the hook for $10 million, and still looking for a championship. You’re just asking for it.

So I’m thinking, if you’re going to go after a guy with closing experience, it may as well be Brian Fuentes, who lacks the Sex Appeal of K-Rod but just might get it done cheaper and wouldn’t be such a name brand diva that you couldn’t slide him into a set-up role if things go bad. And you know they might. Meantime while it’d be nice if they brought in a few good arms as well I hope what they’re really learning is that when building a bullpen, like building a bench, begins with turning the earth and fresh seeds every year.

Besides we already have a No. 57.

 

For the rotation they should just go sign Oliver Perez again.

 

I wish I had a better handle on how they’re going to help the offense but without knowing what they might expect from Church and Castillo, not to mention Daniel Murphy, next year, my guess is as good as yours. I’d be awfully tempted though to see if I couldn’t solve a few problems at onceby dangling Delgado in a trade.Yeah, and I’d look into getting a better hitter behind the dish and not Castro, whose been unable to answer the bell at crucial times far too often.

My apologies for the infrequent updates: I briefly lost use of the home computer and haven’t had a lot to report on. You may have seeen the Mets hired Luis Alicea to be their new first-base coach. He coached the Red Sox wearing No. 16 last year but I’d expect to see him — along withRazor Shines — take numbers in the low 50s.

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This Week in Disabled List History

The Mets tonight welcome a healthy Pedro Martinez back to the team, hopefully to stay awhile but you never know. To make room they optioned newly activated reliever Carlos MunizClaudio Vargas in the meantime got a sudden introduction to his new role as a long man, mopping up for irritating lefty Oliver Perez after the Giants bashed Perez for six momentum-eviserating runs in one-third of an inning Monday.

The arrangement saves a starting assignment for Mike Pelfrey, who, for all of his struggles has turned in more quality starts with a lot less hype than, say, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy combined. Oliver Perez too for that matter.

Pelfrey may not ever be the guy the Mets hoped he’d be when they called his name in Omar Minaya’s first draft as head honcho three years ago this week, but finding that out is the right thing to do.

Speaking of anniversaries, it was 10 years ago this Sunday that while playing ultimate frisbee in Yonkers, I collapsed to the turf with what would later be diagnosed as a ruptured Achilles tendon. Aside from effectively ending a maniacal pursuit to become the world’s most famous frisbee player, the coming months off my feet for surgery and subsequent rehab would lead to the even stupider quest to chronicle every uniform number in Mets history.

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Perez, Sosa Return

Met pitchers Oliver Perez 46 and Jorge Sosa 29, return from respective stints on the disabled list Sunday and Monday.

Perez, who looked serviceable in Sunday’s win over the Reds, took the place of Dave Williams 32, whose lone start in Perez’ place didn’t. Williams was designated for assignment and could wind up someone else’s property. Mike Pelfrey 34 was sent back to AAA New Orleans as Sosa is activated for Monday’s game in San Diego. Pelfrey had a short tryout in the bullpen last week but stands to get more regular work in the minors. Nice if he’d get a win.

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Never Before Has a Boy Wanted More

46As expected, the Mets swapped Norfolk pitchers Brian Bannister and Oliver Perez as part of the makeshift weekend rotation against the Phillies. Perez is on the mound tonight in No. 46, which places him in the company of such luminaries as  Willie Blair, Terry Bross and Jeremy Griffiths. We’ve got hopes however he once again becomes the kind of guy you’d trade Scott Kazmir for.

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