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The Mets kept the wrong guy

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At the end of last season, pitchers Pedro Martinez & Oliver Perez became free agents. The Mets had a choice, and, based on what I saw on Saturday in the pre-season finale vs. Boston, they made the wrong one in keeping Perez, who couldn't get out of the first inning.

Ever since acquiring Perez in a mid-season deal in 2006 en route to ending Atlanta's run as the Beast of the NL East, the Mets have seen him at his best and his worst. Unfortunately, more often than not, it's his worst. One wonders if Ollie's agent, Scott "20 Mule Team" Boras, has some incriminating evidence on either GM Omar Minaya or the Wilpon family in order to broker a new deal for the most schizophrenic hurler the Mets have ever had.

Of course, it's easy to bash Boras, considering how many other teams he's fleeced over the years. The Mets are his latest victim. Perez blamed the cold weather in his new home park, Citi Field, for his debacle vs. the Red Sox, but that's no excuse. He just didn't have it. Period. Meanwhile, the very next night, another Boras client, Derek Lowe, paid immediate dividends for Atlanta as they beat Philadelphia. Boras was asking the Mets for too much for Lowe. Too much money, that is, just so Boras can fatten his wallet. I don't think he gets the same kind of business as a lawyer that he does as a parasitic player agent, but it's time someone called him out on his business practices.

Pedro, meanwhile, looked sharp for the Dominican Republic in the WBC. Problem was, they were ousted by the upstarts from the Netherlands in what was the biggest upset in any sport so far this year. Martinez doesn't have a major league gig right now, but there are going to be suitors lining up quickly after the first week of the season.

Despite his denials, I'd have to believe Omar Minaya will be looking to make up for his earlier mistake. If Ollie continues to struggle in his first few regular season starts, Minaya would be wise to cut him loose ASAP and offer a mea culpa to Pedro, provided of course another team---say for example division rival Florida---doesn't claim him first, because in the long term, Martinez would be a bigger asset to the Mets rotation than Perez.

If the Mets don't make this move, then re-signing Perez will rank with the 1977 trade of Tom Seaver to Cincinnati as one of the biggest bonehead moves in team history. Right now, given how Atlanta upgraded in the off-season, the Mets might be looking at a 3rd place finish if there's another September meltdown. And it will be their own fault.


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