"Four years and seven walks ago, our general manager brought forth, upon this fanbase, a screwed pitcher. We were deceived at Citi, and stated our position that all pitchers weren't created equal."
--New York Mettysburg Address (July 30, 2010)
It was indeed four years (but more than seven walks) ago tomorrow that Oliver Perez was traded to the Mets along with Roberto Hernandez for rightfielder and fan-favorite Xavier Nady.
The deal was necessitated because reliever Duaner Sanchez got a case of the midnight munchies in Miami and was involved in an accident as a passenger in a taxicab. The fender bender led to a shoulder injury to Sanchez and left a gaping hole in the bullpen, one that was filled by Roberto Hernandez, but also gave us El Perez-idente himself, Oliver Perez.
Let's hop into the DeLorean, adjust the flux capacitor and travel to the winter following the 2008 season (but don't let the same guy from Duaner's taxicab drive it). The Mets were in need of a starting pitcher, coveted Derek Lowe, but let him sign with Atlanta for four years and $60 million. The only other option was their little free agent that couldn't, Oliver Perez.
At three years and $36 million, the Mets felt they had scored a coup, keeping the 26-year-old Perez, who had just compiled a 25-17 record over the past two seasons. Of course, the Mets seemed to ignore the fact that Ollie had walked a league-leading 105 batters in 2008 despite the 10-7 record.
What has that $36 million contract gotten the Mets? A 3-8 record, 6.56 ERA and 94 walks in only 107 innings.
What has that same contract gotten Oliver Perez? How about the wrath of hundreds of thousands of Mets fans, the butt of more jokes than his pitch count over five innings and a Facebook fan page brought about by the creators of Studious Metsimus and My Summer Family called "Impeach El-Perez-idente!" You can check out the page and become a fan by clicking here.
Four years ago today, Duaner Sanchez's need for Dominican food during sleepy time put him in a position to be in the car accident that forever changed his career. Mets fans choose to remember that day for another reason. It was the day that caused Oliver Perez to become a Met.
Unfortunately, there has been no one-term limit for El Perez-idente in New York. He is now entering his fifth year as a Met and is still under contract for another.
The Mets might not be able to get rid of Ollie for Roy Oswalt's jock strap (Houston wanted equal value for the pitcher's "equipment"), but Mets fans can get rid of their anger by joining us in saying "Impeach El Perez-idente!"