Monday, March 21, 2011

Someone was bound to ask . . .

Oliver Perez?

Come on, be honest. The thought did cross your mind, even if for just a nanosecond. Maybe two nanoseconds. The thought came and went so quickly that it probably didn't really even register fully. But it was there. It's okay -- you can can admit it.

Maybe just as a joke. Maybe out of pity (does it only seem that his special brand of incompetence has shown a bit more favoritism to the Nats?). Maybe because you're an anti-Lerner double-agent. Whatever the reason, the question has formed itself, however briefly, in your mind today.

And the answer, of course, is no. I mean, what's the point?

But let's completely waste our time for just a moment more. Is there any conceivable case, however fanciful, to be made for signing the guy to a minor-league deal? Yes. And that case is spelled "Horacio Ramirez."

In 2009, the Nats organization permitted Ramirez to start 16 games for Syracuse. Ramirez responded by going 3-7 with a 5.40 ERA, surrendering 111 hits in 85 innings while fanning fewer than four batters per nine innings. This was right after Ramirez had been released by the Kansas City Royals -- a ball club that was 12th in the AL in team ERA despite having the Cy Young Award winner, who lead the AL in ERA. This was two seasons after Ramirez posted a 7.16 ERA -- while having Safeco Field as his home park, no less.

By June 15, 2009 (the day the Nats signed him to a minor-league deal), Ramirez's prospects of ever being anything remotely resembling a big league pitcher again weren't just shot; they were riddled with more bullets than Matthew Bevilaqua. Is Oliver Perez, at this moment, any different?

Compelling, I know.


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