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Just days after parting ways with second baseman Luis Castillo, the New York Mets have released another maligned player in Oliver Perez. The enigmatic lefty is owed $12 million this season, the final season of a three-year, $36 million contract.
Just as fans were awaiting this move to be made, Perez told reporters he wasn't surprised.
"When they told me, I almost knew what they were going to tell me," Perez said.
Don't expect him to sit at home this season and collect his check from the Mets. Much like Castillo who is due to sign a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, Perez still wants to play.
"It's one of those times you don't feel great, but I don't want to quit. I think I've got more in my career."
Though nothing he says will stop the vitriol from New York fans, Perez was clear that he felt the team gave him a fair shake.
"They were fair with me when I came here. 'We're going to give you an opportunity to be a starter.' I didn't do anything great. They moved me to the bullpen trying to be a lefty specialist. And the last game, that was a real horrible job."
While it's respectable for Perez to talk about the chances he was given, short of he and Castillo playing flawless baseball this spring there was no way new GM Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins would allow such stigmas from the Mets recent failures to come north with the club.
Appropriately, Perez's final game in a Mets uniform featured back-to-back home runs given up by the lefty against the Washington Nationals.
"I know I did everything I can to get getter, and the result doesn't work right," Perez said. "I think I can do better than that, and that's why I'm not going to quit. I want to get better, for my family and me."
The highlight of Perez's stint in New York were no doubt his six innings of one run ball he pitched when handed the ball on short rest for the deciding game of the 2006 NLCS despite owning the worst regular-season ERA ever for a pitcher starting in a Game 7.