Manuel reiterates support for Perez

Manuel reiterates support for Perez

NEW YORK -- Between innings on Sunday, manager Jerry Manuel walked down to the clubhouse tunnel, where Oliver Perez was hiding to keep warm. There, Manuel said, he saw several players talking with Perez and encouraging him.

"They want so bad for Oliver to do well," Manuel said. "I don't see it as a time or a place now where they are fed up with it."

To that end, Manuel on Monday reiterated his stance that Perez will be given every opportunity to succeed in the rotation. Perez will make his next start, on Friday in Miami. And the Mets have given no indication that they will remove him thereafter if he fares poorly.

Rather than condemn Perez, Manuel blamed his Sunday struggles on the low-50s temperatures and the blustery winds that blew through Citi Field all afternoon.

"I think the wind and cold was a challenge for him yesterday," Manuel said. "Obviously, in those conditions, hitters, players, pitchers need to make adjustments. Sometimes for someone whose mechanics and fundamentals are so sensitive, it could cause a problem for him." -- Anthony DiComo