UPDATE: Oliver Perez moved to the bullpen

5 Comments

Bad Ollie.jpgUPDATE: Perez has been moved to the bullpen, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.

Kevin Burkhardt of SNY.tv reports that Manuel has yet to name a replacement, but logic dictates that it would be left-hander Hisanori Takahashi. If not, the Mets would need to make a roster move should they choose to pluck R.A. Dickey or Dillon Gee from the minor leagues.

9:01 AM: Mets manager Jerry Manuel wouldn’t come right out and say it, but it would appear Oliver Perez is on his way out of the rotation after his latest implosion against the Marlins on Friday night (quote via Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com).

“I’m concerned with the outings that we’re getting,” Manuel said. “The
last two outings, I have to be concerned with. We have to entertain some
different things.”

Perez was trounced for seven runs over just 3 1/3 innings against the Marlins, tying a career-high by giving up four home runs. He served up three home runs in the fourth inning alone.

The left-hander now has a 5.94 ERA and 1.92 WHIP over his first seven starts, compiling an ugly 27/28 K/BB ratio. Even worse, Perez is 3-7 with a 6.52 ERA and a 89/86 K/BB ratio since signing a three-year, $36 million contract with the Mets following the 2008 season.

So, yes, Perez is likely on the way out of the rotation, but the Mets would need his permission before they send him to the minor leagues. And so, with Scott Boras in tow, there’s a good chance Perez joins Jeff Suppan as one of the game’s most overpriced mop-up men.

Regardless of where Perez goes from here, the most likely candidate to replace him in the rotation is Hisanori Takahashi. The 35-year-old southpaw has a 2.74 ERA over his first 14 major league appearances, compiling an impressive 29/10 K/BB ratio over 23 innings.

The umps have dropped their Ian Kinsler protest

Getty Images
5 Comments

Over the weekend the World Umpires Association — the umpire’s union —  launched a protest in response to what it feels is Major League Baseball’s failure to adequately address the “escalating attacks” on the men in blue. They were specifically upset that Ian Kinsler didn’t get suspended for his remarks in which he said that Angel Hernandez should get out of the umpiring business because he’s terrible. Apparently to umpires truth is no defense. In any event, they wore white wristbands Saturday night as a sign of solidarity or whatever.

Now that’s over, it seems. At least for the time being. The Association released this statement yesterday afternoon:

“Today, WUA members agreed to the Commissioner’s proposal to meet with the Union’s Governing Board to discuss the concerns on which our white wristband protest is based. We appreciate the Commissioner’s willingness to engage seriously on verbal attacks and other important issues that must be addressed. To demonstrate our good faith, MLB Umpires will remove the protest white wristbands pending the requested meeting.”

As many noted over the weekend — most notably Emma Span of Sports Illustrated — this protest was, at best, tone deaf. While officials are, obviously, due proper respect, a player jawing at an umpire is neither unprecedented nor very serious compared to, well, almost anything that goes on in the game or in society. At a time when people are literally taking to the streets to protest white supremacy, Neo-Nazis and the KKK, asking folks to spare thoughts for some people who sometimes have to take guff over ball and strike calls is not exactly a cause that is going to draw a ton of sympathy. And that’s before you address the fact that the umpires are not innocent when it comes to stoking the animosity between themselves and the players.

I wouldn’t expect to hear too much more out of this other than, perhaps, a relatively non-committal statement from Major League Baseball and a relatively detail-free declaration of victory by the umpires after their meeting.

 

Minor league teams prepare for a “total eclipse of the park”

Salem Volcanoes
2 Comments

The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes are a class-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. Today, the path of totality of the big solar eclipse we’re not supposed to look at will pass right through the ballpark in which they play. What’s better: the Volcanoes are playing a game against the Hillsboro Hops as it happens.

This was by design: the team’s owner requested this home game when the schedule was made up two years ago specifically to market the heck out of the eclipse. They’re starting the game at 9:30 this morning, Pacific time, in order to maximize the fun. Spectators will receive commemorative eclipse safety glasses to wear. The game will be delayed when the eclipse hits and a NASA scientist named Noah Petro, who is from the area, will talk to the crowd about what is going on.

Salem-Keizer isn’t the only minor league game affected, by the way. There are six games in all which will feature a “total eclipse of the park.” Turn around, bright eyes.

There are no home MLB games going on in the path of totality, but MLB has put together a helpful guide in order to maximize your baseball and eclipse pleasure. If you line up some good beer with that you’l have your very own national pastime syzygy.