On WFAN: Rick Peterson Talks Oliver Perez, Mets’ 2007 Collapse
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NEW YORK (WFAN) – Former Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson was present for New York’s historic collapse of 2007 and Oliver Perez’s temporary resurgence. Peterson joined WFAN’s Boomer & Carton on Tuesday to recap the highs and lows of his time in Flushing.
Peterson was fired in June 2008 — along with Willie Randolph — by former Mets general manager Omar Minaya. The firings were largely panned, not for the personnel decisions made, but for the clandestine nature of the Mets’ act. Minaya’s overnight shocker was later dubbed the “Midnight Bloodbath.”
“Actually I’m really not bitter at all. I really am not,” Peterson said. “The one thing I will say, I have a tremendous affection for the Mets, the Met fanbase. The years in New York here were probably as enjoyable as any years I’ve had.”
Embattled Mets left-hander Oliver Perez saw his best seasons under Peterson’s tutelage. New York’s former pitching coach says Perez needs to be “pushed a little bit” in order to be successful.
“He’s not the type of guy that I would call incredibly self-disciplined and self-motivated,” said Peterson. “He’s someone that needs to be pushed a little bit, and I think he got away from some things that had him highly successful.”
Perez, already ruled out of the Mets’ rotation, is battling to stay with the club in a bullpen specialist role.
“Now he’s trying to get it back, and you get really frustrated, you get disinterested,” he added. “It’s very tough to answer to the New York press when you’re really struggling.”
Of course, what would an interview with Peterson be without discussing New York’s epic collapse of 2007. He admitted to Boomer & Carton that he saw the ship sinking in July, a full two months before the Mets lost 12-of-17 to complete their stunning September fall.
“This is going to be shocking, maybe. (I was) to the point where honestly, I felt that way towards the end of July,” Peterson said. “I looked at what we had. Pedro (Martinez) was so fragile. El Duque was so fragile. … So you say to yourself, ‘Okay, how far are we going to go with this?'”
What would you have asked Peterson? Let us know in the comments below…