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