One of the great pastimes of the cynical baseball fan is to sit back, see what players fail to report to camp, and laugh for the ridiculous reasons given. The biggest name who is a no show right now is Odalis Perez, who's boycotting the Nationals' spring training camp with some ridiculous results.
According to this story, Perez verbally agreed with the Nats on a contract similar to the one he signed last year -- a minor league deal that would pay him $850,000 if he makes the team. That seems like a fair deal to me and the Nationals clearly think it is, but Perez has apparently changed his mind since agreeing to it. He's also decided that the best way to address the situation is simply by not showing up to camp.
"I thought it best and I prefer to sit in my house if the Nationals do not show more appreciation for my work," Perez said from Santo Domingo.
"Appreciate my work means to increase the value of the contract and guarantee it. I will not accept any minor league contracts with no safeguards. I instructed my agent to report my position to the Nationals," Perez said. He also added that he's not negotiating with other clubs.
The funniest part about this whole thing is that apparently Nationals manager Manny Acta had no idea that Perez was even missing until he was contacted by ESPN Deportes to ask him about the "dispute." If I may paraphrase the great Branch Rickey, the Nationals finished in last place with Perez and they appear pretty confident that they can duplicate the feat without him.
Meanwhile, Perez hopes to show other teams he's in shape and pitching well during the World Baseball Classic (he's pitching for the Dominican Republic), but I think the league considers him to be under contract with the Nationals, so that probably won't do him any good. It's really kind of baffling to see this from a middling pitcher like Perez in an offseason when so many other players are struggling to find jobs.
Odalis Perez Is Boycotting Nats Camp originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Mon, 16 Feb 2009 20:18:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.