Following the releases of Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo, I’m really optimistic about the Mets turning into a team of players I like to watch every day. I’m curious to find out if anyone else has a sense of optimism about this team. I’m not delusional about the Mets chances to make the playoffs. They’re still the fourth best team in the division.
At this point my standards have been lowered so much that I can be satisfied with watching a team of players that I like and believe that the best baseball is in front of them. Take the poll below and let me know if you’re optimistic about this team’s future too.
Here’s this week’s video that I did Sunday night with Kerel Cooper of On The Black. We did this video before the official announcement of Oliver Perez’ release was made. We also talk about the release of Luis Castillo, Jason Bay’s comeback from injury, and the latest on the Madoff lawsuit.
I’m back on board with this organization today. Many of us have been so critical of the Mets over the last four years and, in many cases, rightfully so. There aren’t many teams that would eat $18 million in contracts between Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo in three days like the Mets just did. That shows some smarts and some guts to move forward in a new direction.
I have to admit that I was okay with the Perez contract before the 2009 season. If you remember, it was between Perez and Derek Lowe, who ended up getting a 4-year/$60 million contract from the Braves. By comparison, the Perez deal was a bargain. A bargain that turned into a nightmare.
Since Perez signed the big contract in 2009 he’s gone 3-9 in 31 games with a 6.81 ERA. It was time to move on without Perez. I applaud this team for making a decision that couldn’t have been made lightly considering the money that was on the line. And I won’t even get into the Wilpon’s current financial situation.
It was another bad day for Oliver Perez today and it could be his last as a Mets pitcher. He got rocked for back-to-back home runs when he entered the game with two men on base against the Nationals in the seventh inning. His spring ERA ballooned to 8.38 and his fastball never got above 87 mph. It’s just not working out.
I was in favor of holding onto Ollie at least until the end of spring training. But it’s become abundantly clear that there’s nothing to be gained by Perez’ continued participation in spring training.
The Mets were willing to eat Luis Castillo’s contract for $6 million yesterday. Ollie’s contract will be twice as difficult a pill to swallow at $12 million. The only saving grace is that both players are going to be free agents after the 2011 season.
I feel like I’ve seen this quote a hundred times from Perez during his Mets career. After today’s game he said:
“I didn’t do my job, and that’s why they scored four runs,” Perez said after the Mets’ 7-4 win over the Nationals. “That’s a really bad job.”
Pitching coach Dan Warthen talked to reporters after the game too. He’s frequently been in a position to be an apologist for Perez.
“I would like to see better stuff from Ollie,” Warthen said. “We have other guys in here that are working hard and doing a good job from the left side,” Warthen said. “He’s trying to make the left-handed job, and these other guys are doing a very good job right now. We have to evaluate that way.”
Today I changed my mind about Ollie. I’m ready to pull the plug and let him go. I had serious doubts before spring training that he would be able to recover his stuff from 2006. Now, I think he’s wasting time in Port St. Lucie. It’s time for Ollie to go.
There wasn’t much doubt that this was going to happen at some point this spring, it was just a matter of when it was going to happen. Today, the news came out that the Mets finally released the chronically under-performing Luis Castillo. It came out from the beat reporters that Castillo asked for his release today, unhappy with the assemblage of talent trying out at second base to replace him. Even the $6.25 million left on his contract for 2011 wasn’t enough to save him.
Castillo’s contract was inexplicable from the start. The Mets picked him up from the Twins at the trading deadline in 2007 and went on to one of the greatest late-season collapses in baseball history. At 31 years old, he appeared to be on the downside of a former speedster’s career. His legs didn’t look fresh and he couldn’t cover the same ground in the field that he did in the late 90’s with the Marlins when we saw him steal bases against Mike Piazza at will with his running mate Juan Pierre.
Kerel Cooper of On The Black and I got together for another weekly video to talk about the state of the Mets as the team begins their first full squad workouts. The hot topics of the week are Luis Castillo reporting on time but not early, Carlos Beltran in center field, and K-Rod showing up and apologizing again for assaulting someone at Citi Field last year.
The good news is that we don’t have to talk about the Bernie Madoff lawsuit this week!
Kerel Cooper of On The Black and I are doing a weekly video chat this season talking Mets baseball. This week we discuss the Mets arriving in PSL, the potential of Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo to make the roster, the new partial season ticket packs, and the Phillies.
It’s a great time of year with the Mets starting up camp in Florida. But the news hasn’t been good for the Mets between the Madoff mess and the roster dilemna they’ll face with Perez and Castillo.
Check out the video below and let me know in the comments if there are any issues that we should address this week.