Oliver Perez on His Contract, 2010, Jerry, the Fans, etc.

Last month, Oliver Perez spoke with Hector Meza from Territorioscore.com about a variety of topics in the Q&A below:

HM: In your opinion what went wrong this year?

OP: Well, remember that I had surgery in September [of 2009], and from that moment on I got going with my routine and exercise. I felt good at Spring Training, but that was the first time [playing since] I had surgery. It is a very hard situation that every other player goes through. But as you know, in New York, everything it’s magnified.

HM: On a personal level how did you handle the pressure coming from the fans and media?

OP: Situations like that are not easy, sometimes you have to take decisions that some people like and some not, Everybody was giving me advice, but you have to be strong and think for yourself. It was a very complicated environment, but situations like that make you bigger and stronger when you realize the responsibility that you have to keep going on.

HM: The Manager rarely used you, as he only used you when he ran out of choices out of the bullpen, how did you feel about that?

OP: I rarely spoke with him, I was very frustrated because I love baseball and I wanted to help my team. When I realized that there wasn’t an opportunity, at first I did get mad but then I said to myself ‘I’m going to prepare for what I do best and be healthy, and until this date that’s what I do’ – I was doing cardio and weights. The good news is that the [surgically repaired] knee isn’t bothering me at all – I don’t ice it and I don’t have to get treatment anymore, so that’s the only positive that I take out of all the negativity from last season.

HM: Do you feel that signing such a big contract had an effect on the animosity coming from the press and fans?

OP: Everybody, including me of course had great expectations. I wanted to perform well for the Mets because they were the team that rescued me from the Pirates AAA team. That’s why I signed in New York. I never thought I would start game seven of a championship series, and I was grateful – that’s why I signed with them. But you never know when injuries will occur. A lot of people hinted that I had a bad season because of the contract, but everybody knows that when I’m 100 percent its another story because of my potential, but that’s a thing of the past. I want to vindicate and be my old self.

HM: The 2011 Mets: What’s going to happen with you?

OP: I don’t know, I’m not thinking about that at the moment. What I’m doing is preparing myself. I took ten days off not to rest but to detox from baseball and clear my mind, I maintain my routines and everything is fine.

HM: Restrictions on innings or games (Pitching in Mexico)?

OP: No, because the Mets gave me permission to pitch without restrictions, so I would say that I will be with Los Tomateros until the end.”

Thanks to Andres M for the translation.

By the way, Perez made his winter league debut earlier this week and pitched a scoreless inning of relief for Culiacan in the Mexican Winter League, striking out two of the three batters he faced.