(Author’s Note: I dreamed the following news story Saturday night, following the disabling of Oliver Perez and a re-watching of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I'm reasonably certain this didn't actually happen.)The New York Mets announced Saturday that Oliver Perez has been placed on the 15-day Disabled List with good non-specific symptoms, such as clammy hands.
According to manager Jerry Manuel, Perez is “Um, sick. My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious.”
The move comes as the Mets, and Perez, evaluate their summer plans. With the realization that Perez may have only a few months left with the Mets, he understood how important it was to make every moment count.
“This is my second knee injury this contract,” Perez said. “It's pretty tough coming up with new illnesses. If I go for three, I'm probably going to have to barf up a lung, so I better make this one count.”
Both those within the Mets’ organization, and their fans, have been hugely critical of Perez, who refused the chance to report to Buffalo under pitching coach Ricky Bones’ close personal supervision.
But the convenient timing of the move drew the attention of Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, who has vowed to “set a trap and let Perez fall right in it.”
“I did not achieve this position in life by having some snot-nosed punk leave my cheese out in the wind,” Selig said in a statement.
Perez’s agent, Scott Boras, defended Perez, denying reports that his teammates had made him a clubhouse pariah.
“Oh, he's very popular,” Boras said. “The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies -- they all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude.”
Boras and Mets General Manager Omar Minaya have been locked in a struggle over whether Perez would report to the minor leagues or not. Eventually, the Mets settled on this course of action, with Minaya making it clear that he felt he had no other choice.
“He'll keep calling me, he'll keep calling me until I give in,” Minaya reportedly muttered to himself. “He'll make me feel guilty. This is uh... This is ridiculous, ok he'll go, he'll go, he'll go, he'll go, he'll go. What -- HE'LL GO.”
Minaya later sang, “When Omar was in Boras land… let my Omar go.”
Of course, things reached a boiling point between Boras, who held the keys to Perez’s future, and Minaya, who simply wanted to find some value in Perez’s three-year, $36 million deal.
Minaya heatedly protested to Boras, “You hit me! Look, don't make me participate in your stupid crap if you don't like the way I do it. You make me get out of bed, you make me make issue a phony phone call to Bud Selig? The man could declare that all our games end in a tie. And-and-and then, and then, you deliberately hurt my feelings.”
Perez, amused, said of Selig, “A: You can never go too far. B: If I'm gonna get busted, it is not gonna be by a guy like that.”
Perez’s teammates tried, without success, to rationalize his ineffectiveness and seeming refusal to take steps to improve his pitching.
“Maybe I'm overreacting,” one teammate said. “Maybe Oliver isn't such a bad guy. After all, I get cheered, he gets booed. But still, why should he get to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants? Why should everything work out for him? What makes him so special? Screw him.”
In the meantime, Perez has refused to speak on the record with reporters about his injury. When one reporter rang his bell, Perez refused to come to the door, saying repeatedly, “Oh, I'm sorry. I can't come to the mound right now. I'm afraid that in my weakened condition, I could take a nasty spill down the stairs and subject myself to further team absences. You can reach my parents at their places of business. Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate your concern for my well-being. Have a nice day!”
Perez’s plans during his DL stint include seeing “everything good, priceless works of art and eating pancreas.” After all, Perez noted, “Life moves pretty fast. You don't take a trip to the DL once in a while, you could miss it.”
As far as his role on the 2011 Mets is concerned—a season when he will earn $12 million—Minaya shrugged his shoulders and said, “Between grief and nothing… I’ll take grief.”
Added Perez’s teammate, “I weep for the future.”