It must be really hard to be Oliver Perez these days.
It’s no secret that the majority of the fanbase would have preferred that Perez had been released long before the reporting date for pitchers and catchers, and I bet after seeing the atrocious numbers Perez put up at Winter Ball, the thought may have crossed the mind of GM Sandy Alderson.
But Sandy stuck to his original plan and he repeatedly fended off questions about cutting Ollie by saying he would get a full Spring Training before any decision would be made.
Perez is still stinging from the consequences of another lost season in 2010. One that saw him get banished to the bullpen, go on the DL for a knee injury that many doubted including Bud Selig, refused two requests from his general manager to go to the minors and work on his game, and spending most of the season sitting alone in the back of the bullpen like a virtual outcast.
Nobody even bothered to tell Ollie that the complex was closed last Sunday when he showed up to find Digital Domain Park padlocked and as empty as the area surrounding his locker last season after every game.
With reports now surfacing that Perez has come to camp sporting a new changeup, an improved cut fastball, and a new attitude to match, does it change the way you feel about him?
What if Oliver Perez were to out-pitch newcomers Chris Young and Chris Capuano, or out-perform youngsters Jenrry Mejia and Dillon Gee, and emerge as the biggest positive surprise in Mets camp this Spring?
As improbable as that may sound, it’s not entirely impossible.
Would you be ecstatic and thrilled and all-forgiving?
Or would you be worried and angry because it might be a fluke and basically just another episode of “Good Ollie, Bad Ollie” or “Ollie Being Ollie”?
Will you root for him?
The Beatles referred to someone like Ollie as the “Fool on the Hill”. Listen to the lyrics and you’ll see why he fits the song perfectly.
Photo credit: ESPN.com