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Mets Mess: Oliver Perez Released – Thumbs Up or Down?

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In the old Roman Coliseum days, the crowd got what it wanted based on thumbs up or down. Some say the gladiator spared his opponent if the thumb was down rather than up; whatever the case was in those days, now we know thumbs down means a bad rating. For former Mets pitcher Oliver Perez, he got a resounding thumbs down from the fans and has been finally shown the door.

There were lots of reasons to keep Perez and Luis Castillo—about 18 million of them. The team gave up on both players, exorcising at least some of the ghosts left behind by former GM Omar Minaya. In doing so they were giving the fans what they wanted, but it also will look pretty bad if both guys get picked up as cheap players by other teams and do well—the Mets will be on the hook for most of their salaries either way.

While Castillo never really had success here in New York, for a while Perez flirted with greatness. I can remember going to a Subway Series game back at Old Shea a few years ago on a rainy night, and Perez kept the Yankees scoreless for seven-plus innings. What happened to him since then no one can tell, but some say he has just lost it; others thought it was a mental block of some kind. Maybe we will never know.

On this day the Mets parted ways with Oliver Perez, and in this move new GM Sandy Alderson is making a statement that goes beyond payroll and fiscal worries. Perhaps the Mets are no better now than they were before, but as was the rule back in the old coliseum days, the fans got what they wanted. At least Perez gets to leave town with his head on his shoulders.

Photo Credit: Metsblog.com

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About Victor Lana

Victor Lana has published numerous stories, articles, and poems in literary magazines and online. His books In a Dark Time (1994), A Death in Prague (2002), Move (2003), The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories (2005) and Like a Passing Shadow (2009) are available online and as e-books. He has won the National Arts Club Award for Poetry, but has concentrated mostly on fiction and non-fiction prose in recent years. He has worked as faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with Blogcritics since July 2005, has edited many articles, was co-head sports editor with Charley Doherty, and now is a Culture and Society editor. He views Blogcritics as one of most exciting, fresh, and meaningful opportunities in his writing life.
  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/charlie-doherty charlie doherty

    Losing Castillo might hurt, but don’t be sorry Perez is gone. He’s only had a few full seasons where his ERA was under 5.00!

    If he wasn’t a lefty and over 30 years old-he’s 29 now-he wouldn’t get another chance in the big leagues with his numbers, which include ERAs in the 6.00s the past couple of years. I only see another NL team giving him a chance this year, as he’d get slaughtered in the (tougher) AL.