Viewer Mail 3.27.2011

Books, Management, Media, Paul Lebowitz's 2011 Baseball Guide, Players, Spring Training

Jeff at Red State Blue State writes RE Oliver Perez:

Much — if not all — of the vitriol towards Ollie is rooted not just in his mediocre to sub-mediocre performances, but also in his piss-poor attitude. At least, that’s what it feels like to someone like me, a Mets outsider.


Jon writes RE Perez:

Fans are surely guilty of pretending they knew better all along, but it wasn’t the contract or his acquisition itself that was their issue, it was his showing up to camp out of shape in ’09 and his refusal in ’10 to accept a minor league assignment, even if that was within his rights.

I think the Mets in general did Ollie a disservice last season by letting him rot on the roster all year rather than give him enough rope to hang himself. At worst, it would have given the fans a better reason to have turned on him.

The fans were never enamored of Perez to begin with; there was always a sideways glance at him as if the front office, manager, coaches, players, fans and media were waiting to see which Ollie would show up. It was a risk to pay him a guaranteed salary over the long-term.

He had every right to refuse the assignment to the minor leagues to try and get himself straightened out last season; he ended up going with a phantom knee injury and it didn’t do any good.

The Mets could’ve continued using him, but the concept of him “hanging himself” doesn’t make much sense. What, other than what they’ve done, could they have done? Nothing.

When Perez was spiraling further and further away, the Mets were still jockeying for playoff position; they couldn’t keep costing themselves games and placing their bullpen in that position of pitching the entire game every fifth day especially with a manager in Jerry Manuel who battered his relievers independent of the situation.

Nothing whatsoever was expected from Perez when the Mets traded for him in 2006—-he was a throw-in/Rick Peterson reclamation project who ended up being needed in the playoffs after Orlando Hernandez got hurt and he pitched admirably well.

He was very good in 2007, good in 2008; once he got paid, all the wheels came off.

The nature of the game today is such that the fans and media know everything—his contract details are public; it once took some actual effort to get a look at the ins-and-outs of a player’s salary, now it’s available on numerous outlets at the click of a button. Fans didn’t want an inconsistent pitcher who was capable of striking out 15 or walking 15; they wanted a pitcher who was worth $12 million a year.

It clearly got into Perez’s head. Combining that with his quirky, herky-jerky mechanics and frequent mental lapses, and you get the disaster he became.

Joe writes RE me:

Are you a trekky?

No. I’m the captain of the starship….Enterprise; on an ongoing mission. And I just returned from planet Dingus. You come from a fascinating race, Joe.

Gabriel writes RE Buck Showalter:

I like Buck Showalter. I’d have liked to see him manage the Blue Jays after Cito.

Showalter’s cagey and calculating. While the interview wasn’t as much of a nuclear bomb as the reports suggest, it’s a positive sign that the Orioles aren’t bowing to the Yankees and Red Sox anymore.

It’s a similar situation as when the Rays broke through in 2008; a major part of that success was the conscious decision to not be bullied by those two powerhouses anymore. Speaking truth to power is the first step to leveling the playoff field and Showalter is letting his team know that he’s going to take the lead in standing up to the clubs who’ve abused them for so long.

The Other Mike in The Bleacher Seats writes RE Phil Hughes and the Yankees:

Is Hughes still on a pitch/inning count? If so, why exactly?

After a full season and two playoff series, shouldn’t he be ready for 200+ innings?

Supposedly there’s no “set” limit to Hughes’s innings this year, but if you think he’s going to be pushed and allowed to jump from the 191 innings he threw in the regular and post-season of 2010 to 215-220 in the 2011 regular season and possibly the playoffs adding another 25-35, you can forget it.

If he starts 33 games and averages 7 innings a start, you’re talking 230 innings; then say there’s 30 for the post-season and you’ve got 260 innings.

No way that happens. They were continually “monitoring” him last season; so much so that they appeared to be bullying him by skipping him from a scheduled start against the Dodgers in what would’ve been a homecoming for the Southern California native.

They seem to be adhering to the idiotic “Verducci Effect” named for the noted pitching expert, Sports Illustrated writer Tom Verducci.

Already we’re seeing evidence of the continuing paranoia as Hughes is the third starter in the starting rotation behind A.J. Burnett when all logic and common sense would have him as number 2.

The slots in the rotation are mostly symbolic and this is no different; but it’s a signal that Hughes, having pitched far better than Burnett last season, is still being handled with care.

The problem the Yankees have this season is that they’re more than likely going to need to push Hughes harder if they have any intention of making the playoffs. Are they willing to sacrifice a playoff spot for a series of floating rules that exist in the wind? Rules designed to “protect”, but are unproven to fulfill that intention?

I think they’ll stick to babying him and it will be to the team’s and Hughes’s detriment.

Bobby writes RE Barry Bonds:

the farce called the Barry Bonds trail (soon to be Roger Clemens as well) has far more to do with Lefty politics than any need or desire to protrect the public.

Clemens for one pissed of the big Dem hancho…notice how the committee votes broke right down party lines?

These people want to interject themselves into everyrthing. They have to be the deciders.

Thats what this is really about….plain & simple.

What is that (jerk’s) name that headed up that committee? Looks like an angry teddy bear…from CA.

These people make me sick!! They have no business being envolved in crap like this to start with..but they are spending millions and for what? To show the rest of us not to dare cross them?


I think you mean Henry Waxman as the (jerk) to be named later.

Republicans control the house now, so they’d head up any committees for the next couple of years.

This comment is awesome!


Paul Lebowitz’s 2011 Baseball Guide is available.

I published a full excerpt of my book here.

It’s available now. Click here to get it in paperback or E-Book on I-Universe or on Amazon or BN. It’s also available via E-book on

Now it’s also out on Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook.


2 thoughts on “Viewer Mail 3.27.2011

  1. I don’t think Hughes is the #3 pitcher because he’s being coddled in terms of pitch count. I think the choice was all about A.J. and giving him confidence by not demoting him to #3.

  2. I will say one thing about the various perjury cases involved with steroids. The government takes perjury very seriously, regardless of what the subject matter is. I think the sort of error that a lot of us are making when looking at these trials, as farcical as they may seem, is looking at them from a steroids/baseball angle. That really doesn’t have much to do at all with why these cases are being brought. If you want to point the finger at the government interjecting itself, it was the hearings on steroids in the first place. Once you lie to the government under oath, the die is cast.

    Barry Bonds may well be acquitted of perjury, despite the fact that it’s relatively obvious that he did indeed lie under oath, but do you think others in a similar situation will be a bit more wary of lying under oath? You bet.

    There are lots of perjury trials all the time, and pretty much every time the person on trial feels that they are being “targeted” and it’s part of some greater agenda. They kind of feel like “well, what did you expect, for me to tell the truth?” The government pretty much always takes a strong position saying “you lie under oath and we catch you, you will be crucified, now it’s up to you if you want to play that game of Russian Roulette.”

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