Oliver Perez. The two words strung together in a sentence are enough to make a Met fan long for the days of Mel Rojas. To say Oliver Perez has been ineffective this since signing his three-year, $36 million contract would be an understatement. Ineffectiveness would be an improvement over the guano we've gotten from El Perez-idente.
Here are some quick numbers on the Mets' $36 million man:
Since signing his deal, Oliver Perez has won a total of three games, or three more than I have. In 110 innings, he has allowed 224 base runners, of which 95 reached via the walk and seven were hit by pitches. On every tenth pitch or so, when Oliver Perez has found the strike zone, opposing hitters have sent that pitch into orbit. Perez has allowed 21 home runs in those 110 innings, including the home run by Brian McCann last night.
Oliver Perez was sent to the bullpen and made his first relief appearance for the Mets on May 19. Since becoming a reliever, his ERA is 9.28. He's faced 57 batters and 28 of them have reached base (.491 on-base percentage). Perez has thrown a total of 233 pitches to those 57 batters, of which only 30 of them were called strikes. A whopping 107 of those pitches were called balls. Yet the Mets continue to keep this man on their active roster, paying him what has amounted to approximately $24,000 per strike. If a starting pitcher making 35 starts in a season got paid $24,000 per start, he'd earn $840,000 per year, or more than double what Cardinals' starting pitcher Jaime Garcia is being paid this year (Garcia is 12-6 with a 2.33 ERA and a $400,000 annual salary). Perez is earning that amount FOR EXTRA STRIKE HE HAS THROWN!
Let's just say that if Oliver Perez were spotted going to the bathroom at Citi Field, he'd be booed there as well (and then he'd miss the urinal). However, Ollie should take comfort in that he's not the first Met to be booed just for being alive. Studious Metsimus caught up with some of these former Mets to ask them for their feelings on what it was like to be booed during their time in New York.
I don't remember them booing me. In fact, I remember one time in an extra-inning game, I balked Jose Reyes to second base, then balked him home, then gave up a walk-off homer to Carlos Delgado. I didn't hear a single boo that night. Oh wait, I was on the Giants then?
Why would you think they were booing me? All I heard every time I came into a game was LOOOOOOOO, because my last name is Looper.
I'm still confused why fans ever booed me. I was a great manager for the Oakland A's. I even gave Eric Valent a shot to play when no one else did and what did he do? He hit for the cycle! The Mets respected him so much that they didn't give away his #57 jersey to anyone until this guy named Johan came over.
They had two reasons to boo me. First, I could never live up to the legend that was Tsuyoshi Shinjo. Second, I disgraced the #25, a number that belonged to Mets superstar and World Series of Poker fan Bobby Bonilla. Maybe I should make it up to him by finally allowing him to show me the Bronx.
I can't believe the Mets would give my number to that Mat-phooey guy. They should have retired my number! I was the MVP of the 1993 team! Now leave me alone. I have a card game to focus on.
So Oliver Perez is not alone when it comes to being booed at Shea Stadium/Citi Field. It's not just the guys above who have been booed. We tried getting in touch with George Foster but he was doing some motivational speaking for the Doug Sisk Fan Club. Mel Rojas was also unavailable because he was tending bar at Paul O'Neill's Pub.
Oliver Perez may not be wanted in New York, but he is not the first player to go through this. Ollie can look on the bright side. Next year, he'll probably be paid about half a million dollars per sunflower seed he spits out.