Ollie: A Year Ago

Oliver Perez’s spring training debut was far from inspiring. According to reports, he never broke 84 MPH, his command was terrible, and he allowed four earned runs in two innings of work.

I had the game on the radio while in the car with my wife and when Ollie’s name was mentioned, Amy said, “why is he still on the team? I can understand giving people a second chance, but not four or five.”

I explained that the Mets gave him a crapload of money, and they were still holding out hope that he could earn some of it in the last year of his contract. Her response: “But if he wasn’t on the team, they’d be better, and if they were better, they might sell more tickets — so how does the money matter?”

I couldn’t argue.

Anyway, when we returned home I was in a nostalgic mood and decided to check out some posts from last February. With Ollie making his first appearance, I thought it fitting to re-hash a post I came across that quoted Sandy Koufax. It was the annual “Koufax PR Day”, when the legendary hurler worked with Mets pitchers in front of the cameras, and the “hope springs eternal” articles ran out as a result. Koufax’s instruction, it was hoped, would somehow turn pitchers such as John Maine and Oliver Perez into capable MLBers. I disagreed with some of Sandy’s statements, and didn’t think Maine or Perez would learn much from him.

As long as we’re being nostalgic, there were two other posts from last spring about Perez: a scathing analysis of one of his appearances in early March, another scathing analysis a few weeks later, and yet another scathing analysis a few days after that. Check those out and compare them to what’s going on with Ollie right now. As they say, “what a non-difference a year makes” … er, or something.

By the way, according to Andy Martino, Dan Warthen is giving Ollie until March 10th to prove he can be a starter. That’s not much time for Mr. Hyde. I’m not sure what exactly that means … if he’s not considered for the rotation, does that mean he’ll be cut, or he’ll get a shot at the bullpen? I guess we’ll find out in about 10 days.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Walnutz15 February 28, 2011 at 10:27 am
    “I know my velocity is not there yet, but that is why I have to work, keep working. … I’ve been working too hard and I think everybody is kind of tired a little bit, because it was very sunny, but that’s why it’s spring training. You try to get ready and try to be confident in all your pitches for the season.”

    So, he’s been working too hard — and all we have to do is pitch him when it’s overcast and cloudy.

    Now that we know…..he should throw 95 again.

  2. Izzy February 28, 2011 at 10:32 am
    Too bad your wife isn’t running the Mets! Cutting Ollie costs the Mets 417K or whatever the minimum salary is today, for his replacement. And if someone were to pick him up after release, they’d pay the Mets that minimum to have him on their roster. But the cost of Ollie is worse than not selling more tickets. Ollie getting press means selling less tickets. Average fan see Ollie around and says I’m not going to any Met games this year. I’ll spend my dough somewhere else where I can get value for my money. Once that decision is made cutting Ollie later won’t help ticket sales.
  3. Rob February 28, 2011 at 5:44 pm
    I have a wild theory. Suppose that Ollie doesn’t want to pitch for the Mets anymore. No matter how hard he might work, he may feel like no one in NY will ever appreciate him, so he’s tanking his performance with the goal of being released. If he’s released, he gets to keep his salary for the remainder of this year. He can then spend the rest of the year either (i) attempting to find another team to sign him, or (ii) working on his fastball to really get it back into shape. Now my theory only works if his salary is guaranteed no matter whether he signs with another team or not. But this sudden regression might be explained as a scheme to get released and find another team to sign him.

    What do you think? Is that conspiratorial enough? Does it paint Ollie in the evil-enough light that everyone wants him to be painted in?

    • Joe Janish March 1, 2011 at 12:04 am
      Being the king of conspiracy theories, I’ll buy into that hypothesis.

      Though, he has looked really, really awful for over a year now. It’s hard to believe one could and would fake being that horrific for that long a time.

      My gut says that he’s hiding a major injury, or his knee is much worse than we think. To lose 10+ MPH in such a short amount of time just doesn’t happen without some kind of physical limitation.

  4. murph March 1, 2011 at 3:02 am
    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    Replace boss with Ollie, but then sing the chorus:
    “We won’t get fooled again!”

    Then read the first paragraph here: