Oliver Perez threw four innings today. He allowed zero hits. During a brief Ollie moment, he walked two in the third, then he got out of the inning.
Four innings, zero hits, two walks, and zero runs. 14 batters faced in 4 innings.
In other words, he looked excellent. His fastball was consistently clocked at 92-93, he looked thin and in shape, and he appeared to be very focused.
Baseball today is like all other areas of our societyâ€”infected with lazy, dishonest major media folks who take every opportunity to file stories criticizing easy targets like the Mets, which are guaranteed to garner responses.
The corollary is the blogosphere, with millions of experts, many of whom are now capable of determining from one early March outing that Nelson Figueroa should be a starter and that Perez will never produce again, and some even state that Ollie should be demoted or released. Never mind how bad Figgy has been everywhere for a decade, and forget that Ollie is much younger, throws harder, has infinitely better stuff, and in 2004, 2007 and 2008 put up numbers which Figgy might not even attain in his dreams.
Some of us remember how spring training was back 20-some years ago, when reporters like Olney, Heyman, Rosenthal, et al were the exceptions and not the rule. ESPN in the days of Tom Mees and George Grande was not part of a ratings-hungry corporate Goliath. We watched spring training and enjoyed baseball after its 4-plus month hibernation. Today, the first outing of March is greeted with the self-appointed experts calling for Ollieâ€™s head. Do these folks think Ollie should be moved ahead of Johan in the rotation after todayâ€™s outing?
Can we enjoy spring games from sunny Florida like we used to, or do we have to listen to and read fellow â€œfansâ€ prepare the gallows for Ollie, Pelf and Murph at a time when we used to simply enjoy the return of baseball before the â€œrealâ€ games start?
Ollieâ€™s fine performance today most definitely did not clinch his having a successful season any more than his poor first outing deserved the storm of whiny complaints it unleashed from Met â€œfansâ€, but todayâ€™s results certainly will quiet the anti-Ollie faction of the Nattering Nabobs of Negativity for a few days, and that may indeed be almost as satisfying.