The main controversy over the WBC has been that some managers and players might be taking it so seriously that they are overdoing it - throwing too many pitches, playing through injuries and so forth.
Oliver Perez apparently is following his own drummer, or should I say drumstick. Pitching coach Dan Warthen says that Perez did not take care of himself when he was away at the WBC:
"I really liked when he left. He came into camp in good shape. I thought he was throwing the ball very well when he left camp. I was a little reticent when he left, and my worries have come to fruition.
"I think he’s not in shape. The arm is out of shape.
For the full quote, and an amusing take on the whole Ollie story, see Metstradamus. It was after reading Metstradamus that I started to think of Ollie as having been away at spring break.
While it's easy to get on Ollie for kicking back now that he's got his three-year deal, the fact is that he didn't exactly pitch like he was in a contract year last year.
So what can motivate this guy?
I wanted the Mets to re-sign Perez over Derek Lowe because of Perez' upside and youth. And it's still better to have Perez with a focus issue than an arm issue. But three years is suddenly looking like a long contract. And I'm in less denial over the fact that no other team seemed to want Perez.
The Mets are still better off with Perez than without him, especially considering the other issues in the rotation. But, while Ollie may not have been literally wasting away in Margaritaville, let's hope that he realizes that his failure to be prepared for the season is, as the song goes, his own damn fault.