Mets players want Oliver Perez gone

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Oliver Perez mopes.jpgNews flash: Oliver Perez is having a pretty terrible year. He has walked 32 dudes in 26 innings against only 29 strikeouts and has an ERA of 6.25. His demotion to the bullpen hasn’t helped anyone either, with his latest performance coming Saturday against the Brewers when he gave up three runs just as the Mets started to rally themselves.

Now two anonymous Mets players are telling the New York Post’s Mike Puma that they want Ollie gone:

“You tell him you go to Triple-A or that’s it, you are finished,” one
Mets player said, well aware that Perez is still owed about $20 million
on the three-year contract he signed before the 2009 season.

A
second Mets player echoed that line of thinking.

“At some point you have to cut bait,” he said. “You owe him a lot of
money, but for what?”

The need for the ultimatum, of course, is that as a veteran in the middle of a big multi-year contract, Ollie must give his permission before accepting a minor league assignment, and Scott Boras clients just don’t do that. What they do do, however, is leave the team once they’re designated for assignment, because they have no choice.  Likewise it seems like the Mets have little choice but to do the designating.

Perez is terrible, there’s nowhere to hide him and he has lost the confidence of his teammates and his manager. Indeed, Puma asked Jerry Manuel when, exactly, he’d consider using Ollie. Manuel’s answer: “That’s really a tough question. [Maybe] extra innings or
something like that, but it’s going to be tough to find spots for him.” The response to that by one of the anonymous players:

“What, we need another 20-inning game and then use him after we’ve used
all our pitchers and if a position player’s sinker isn’t biting?”

Wow. It’s one thing to have a useless player on the team. It’s another thing to have a useless player who is being openly mocked by his teammates. $20 million is a lot of money to flush down the toilet, but it’s time for the Mets to do it.

Sandy Alderson thinks Tim Tebow will play in the major leagues

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Based on his track record so far I don’t think Tim Tebow deserves to play in the major leagues on the merits. Not even close. But then again, I’m not the general manager of the New York Mets, so I don’t get a say in that.

Sandy Alderson is the general manager, so his say carries a lot of weight. To that end, here’s what he said yesterday:

Noting the Tebow experiment has “evolved” into something greater, general manger Sandy Alderson on Sunday said, “I think he will play in the major leagues.”

To be fair, Alderson is pretty up front about the merits of Tebow’s presumed advancement to the bigs at some point. He didn’t say that it’s because Tebow has played his way up. He said this:

“He is great for the team, he is great for baseball, he was phenomenal for minor league baseball last year. The notion that he should have been excluded from the game because he is not coming through the traditional sources, I think is crazy. This is entertainment, too. And he quietly entertains us . . . He benefits the Mets because of how he conducts himself. He’s a tremendous representative of the organization.”

I take issue with Alderson’s comment about people thinking he shouldn’t be in the game because of his background. Most people who have been critical of the Tebow experiment have been critical because there is no evidence that he’s a good enough baseball player to be given the opportunities he’s been given. I mean, he advanced to high-A last year despite struggling at low-A and he’s going to start at Double-A this year in all likelihood despite struggling in high-A. If he does make the bigs, it will likewise come despite struggles in Double-A and maybe Triple-A too.

That said: I don’t mind if they promote Tebow all the way up as long as they’re being honest about why they’re doing it and aren’t trying to get everyone on board with some cockamamie idea that Tebow belongs on the baseball merits. If they do put him in the majors it’ll be because he’s a draw and a good promotion and because people generally like him and he’s not hurting anyone and I can’t take issue with that.

That’s basically what Alderson is saying here and if that’s the case, great. I mean, not great, because Tebow in the bigs will likely also mean that the Mets aren’t playing meaningful games, but great in the sense of “fine.” Baseball is entertainment too. No sense in pretending it isn’t.