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Thursday Applesauce

It's Sweet 16 Thursday in the NCAA Tournament, with Villanova-Duke and UConn-Purdue the headlining games tonight. Here are some baseball links until then:

Around Port St. Lucie

The Mets lost 10-6 to the Tigers yesterday, as Oliver Perez pitched awful. In 3.2 innings, he gave up six runs on five hits, walking six and striking out four. Yes, it's spring training and maybe Ollie's pitiful month of March is nothing to worry about, but post-game news and quotes like these bother me:

"I am concerned because I don't see arm strength," pitching coach Dan Warthen said.

This is exactly what you want to hear about the big offseason acquisition for the rotation.

Warthen noticed a weight gain that developed while Perez was away.  There is a question of how much throwing and conditioning Perez did while he was away.

Ollie is a professional athlete, a job which pays human beings millions of dollars with an expectation that they will stay in shape. If he can't keep up on his conditioning in the month before the season begins, well, that is just very disappointing. 

"I've got five pretty good relievers. If [Perez] can get me through five. ... It'll be like Sampson. Get me to the pillars." [quote from Jerry Manuel]

Ollie will be making $36 million over the next three years, and it is not enough for him to get the team through five innings. That is the expectation for guys like Livan Hernandez and Tim Redding, and they are paid accordingly.  Manager Manuel had no problem with publicly putting Jose Reyes and Ryan Church on the spot earlier this spring, so I don't understand the kid gloves treatment Ollie Perez is getting here.

Positives from the game: Fernando Tatis continued to rake, going 3-for-3 with a double. Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, and Jeremy Reed each had 2 hits as well.

Bullpen News:

  • Brian Stokes pitched 2 scoreless innings, striking out 2.
  • Bobby Parnell pitched 1 scoreless inning, striking out 1.
  • Ron Villone gave up 4 runs on 4 hits in 1 inning.
  • Francisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz each threw a scoreless inning in a minor league game.
  • Adios Valerio de los Santos

The Mets play the Cardinals today, with John Maine making the start.

Dave Cameron at Fangraphs named the Mets the 5th best organization in baseball. Major league talent and ownership received grades of A-, while the front office got a C.

Mets Police thinks Mets Opening Day at Citi Field should be a day game. I agree.

Metstradamus wonders why solid relief pitcher Will Ohman remains a free agent.

Around the NL East

Talking Chop notes that if Jorge Campillo makes the Braves rotation over Tom Glavine, all five starting pitchers would be from different countries. Check out the comments section for some Star Wars nerdiness featuring discussions of parsecs and Wedge Antilles.

The Mets-Phillies game on May 7th will be broadcast on the MLB Network's Thursday Night Baseball.

Fire Jim Bowden makes its "Official 2009 Big Predictions Post."

Phillies Nation provides a rundown of some prospects that might see time in the big leagues in 2009.

Around MLB

The Rays starting pitching depth is so ridiculous that David Price will start the season in AAA.

McCovey Chronicles looks at Tim Lincecum's pitch counts. Outside of maybe Johan Santana, Lincecum is the most fun to watch pitcher in baseball, and I hope for his sake that the absurd number of pitches he threw last season doesn't catch up with him.

Nate Silver of Baseball Prospectus and PECOTA fame will be devoting all of his time to, his well-known "political number-crunching website."

This Twitter thing has really exploded, hasn't it?