I kind of don’t give a darn about Perez, but this may be an interesting test of Collins. Martino notes that Jerry Manuel used to ruffle feathers on the team by talking publicly about a player’s job being in trouble, and casts Collins’ statement yesterday as a different kind of approach.
And it is. But isn’t it also the case that, if Martino is right and Perez is released, that Collins is either (a) undermined as a guy who has any kind of authority to speak about such matters; or (b) shown to have been something less than trustworthy based on his comment yesterday?
Probably worth reading Andy Martino’s original story to which Calcaterra is reacting, too. It’s a good overview of the pending Ollie decision, and what it would say about the Mets’ ability and willingness to cut bait on sunk costs.
As for Craig’s questions, I’d guess that these things are probably all reasonably fluid at this point in the spring, and so Collins could just be reiterating the current plan — giving Perez until March 10 — even while knowing that the plan could be changed any day. And to be honest, as a fan I’d rather have a manager who guards or obfuscates information to protect his players than a manager who essentially airs all the team’s dirty linen to protect his own image.
I’ll say this right now: Barring either a miracle or a massive calamity, Oliver Perez isn’t making this team. The $12 million left on his contract buys him a few Spring Training innings, but nothing more. No sense fretting and whining about it on March 3 unless you happen to a clubhouse attendant annoyed by the extra laundry or a non-roster invitee eying a better parking spot.
I imagine if the Mets had any more certainty in the back end of their rotation or more proven lefty options for the bullpen, Perez would already be looking for work. Hell, think about it: The only team emissary that went to watch him pitch in Mexico this winter was the second-string bullpen catcher.
We can complain about Perez taking opportunities away from other pitchers this spring, but between split-squad games and Minor League camp there are tons of innings to go around. Collins himself said he planned to use his starting pitchers in Minor League games during the last week of Spring Training, rather than expose them to the Marlins, Braves and Nationals. The only good reason to hope Perez is cut March 4 rather than March 11 or March 22 is that then we can all stop talking about it.