Adam Rubin from the Daily News is reporting that Billy Wagner had some tough comments for the Mets and Oliver Perez, in particular, after his poor start today.
“You’ve got to have that willpower and that desire to go back out there and fight,” Wagner said about responding to the Mets’ early deficit. “This guy (Pirates starter Tom Gorzelanny), he wasn’t throwing the ball that well to shut down our offense. Perez has honestly got to step up and know that we’ve just used every guy in our bullpen the night before. He can’t come out there and decide that gee, he hasn’t got it today, and so be it.”
Wagner added: “When you have games like this, it’s very easy to say, ‘Hey, yeah, you’re going to have these games.’ And you will have these games. But when there’s not a lot of effort and desire, that’s when you worry. You definitely want to play a little bit better than we did, but I know everybody is out there doing what they can. As a pitching staff, we have to show up. We can’t go out there and get beat 13-1 by Pittsburgh.”
Wagner is easily one of the best closers in the game, if not of all time. But sometimes he’s a little too “old school” for me. Oliver Perez is an easy target for analysts both professional and amateur because he’s erratic. I don’t think Perez wasn’t giving a full effort today. He just is what he is, sometimes wild and completely without control.
I don’t like that Wagner is calling Perez out after a rough loss like that. It smacks of piling on. Likewise, I thought that Wagner was too tough on Lastings Milledge when he was here. Wagner needs to concern himself more with his own game than with anyone else. Let the coaches deal with the other pitchers. No good can come of alienating teammates, much less this early in the season.