"The Mets admitted yesterday that letting Oliver Perez pitch for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic was a mistake. The costly blunder became painfully evident after the $36-million lefthander failed to make it out of the fourth inning in the Mets' 10-6 loss to the Tigers at Tradition Field.
The Mets already knew that Perez needs constant supervision. But sending him away to spend nearly three weeks beyond the team's reach turned out to be more damaging than anyone imagined. Perez allowed five hits and six runs yesterday in 32/3 innings -- with six walks.
- Rather than serve up the usual list of excuses -- still time before Opening Day, work in progress, ... manager Jerry Manuel and pitching coach Dan Warthen made it sound as if they have their finger on the panic button with Perez.
...the Mets have precious little time to get Perez up to speed before his scheduled turn April 9 in Cincinnati....
In his second start on March 15, Perez gave up three home runs and threw 85 pitches in 42/3 innings. His arm was out of shape when he returned. Warthen said that
Manuel, who had been a big proponent of the WBC,
"That never entered my thoughts," Manuel said. "Maybe it should have. But it didn't.
I always thought the competition was the best thing for baseball. To be involved in that I thought was a good thing."...
- was concerned enough about Perez that even he questioned the decision to send him. The manager never envisioned Perez coming back in such a sorry state that he couldn't recover in time for his first regular-season assignment.
Perez didn't offer much in the way of an explanation, other than to say if he keeps working, "everything will be OK." That's wishful thinking. Warthen suggested that
'Globalism' is nothing more than jargon for international crooks aiming to make money off other peoples' efforts in a toxic brew: the efforts are stolen, the perpetrators make themselves out to be saints, and they accuse any who hold a logical opposing view as 'selfish' and 'provincial.' It doesn't work in reality. Never has, never will. sm