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Oliver Perez is throwing in the low 90s. And a digression about Culiacan, Mexico

Nov 30, 2010, 1:58 PM EDT

Oliver Perez Mets

When Mets fans heard that Oliver Perez was getting rocked in the Mexican Winter League, they were cautiously optimistic that it would cause the team to finally part ways with the guy. I mean, if you can’t make it in Culiacan,* how are you supposed to handle the Big Apple?

But now it seems that things aren’t so cut and dry. Perez has thrown 10 consecutive scoreless innings and a source tells Adam Rubin that Perez is touching the low 90s on the radar gun:

“Early velocities were 87-89, occasional 90 — all out of the pen. Starting velocities have the consistent 88, but spikes are higher and more common — 91s and occasional 92s.”

I’ll believe that Perez is useful when I see it (could that be in k.p.h.?), but a successful conclusion to his winter league season would certainly make for a fun Mets spring training, no?

*Culiacan: where dreams go to die.  It was 1991, and a middleweight boxer from my hometown of Beckley, West Virginia by the name of Tommy Small was knocking guys out all over Appalachia.  Occasionally he made it to the big venues like Satchmo’s Night Club in Akron.  That spring he stood at a gaudy 23-3 record and was ready for the big time. He got his shot: a fight with Julio Cesar Chavez. The champ. A man who, around that time, was considered to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.  The location: Culiacan.

The guy who owned the radio station I worked for had some business interest in Small, so he and a bunch of his buddies went down to Culiacan as part of his entourage. They decided to make a big deal out of it, phoning in reports to the radio station. I was on the air the night of the fight, and I was tasked with giving round-by-round updates.  Excitement was in the air.

It was short-lived excitement. Chavez made minced meat out of Small who, in reality, was merely a glorified sparring partner for the champ.  My boss — who had been drinking tequila from the Wednesday he arrived until the time he called in with his last update from the fight — portrayed it was an epic battle, in which “our local boy may have lost, but he got the champ’s attention.”  My guess is that he didn’t even get the champ to sweat, but it was probably the greatest moment in Beckley, West Virginia boxing history.

Well, unless you count the time Mr. T. was the referee for the Tough Man Competition at the Raleigh County Armory. That was pretty bitchin’ actually. There was foxy boxing and everything.
  1. Old Gator - Nov 30, 2010 at 2:25 PM

    Tom Lehrer wasted his talent on Guadalajara. Cualiacan is the town he should have written about.

    We ate we drank and we were merry
    And we got typhoid and dysentery…

    Mutts fans, you will never be rid of Oliver Perez. He will always be just good enough so that Wilpon will go on insisting that he get his money’s worth out of him, even years after his contract expires.

  2. Jonny 5 - Nov 30, 2010 at 3:05 PM

    mmmm Foxy boxing…… Jonny Like….

    Olly Olly Oxen Free…. used when kicking the can, or is it bucket?? Gator, help me here. I’m not old enough to know these things. I grew up playing atari 2600 and reading Steven King….

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Nov 30, 2010 at 3:45 PM

      I’m off to arrange a “foxy boxing” tourney in my office right now. I’ll be back tomorrow with a great story, black eye and a crisp, pressed sex harassment suit.

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 30, 2010 at 4:25 PM

        Man, You don’t know how lucky you are……. My office doesn’t contain 1 woman that I want to see Foxy boxing. As a matter of fact, I have half the mind to sue a couple of the women here for sexual harassment. I’ve had my a$$ grabbed! And although I don’t mind it all that much, I just wish they could be Foxy boxing mat’l…

  3. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 1, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    Pick up a bat and start swinging, Oliver. It’s your only chance at value ever again.

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