Why rely on Park? 

April, 30, 2007
04/30/07
10:14
PM ET
Oliver Perez, I get. Yes, when the Mets picked him up last July 31, he'd been absolutely awful for more than a season and a half. And yes, when the Mets gave him a rotation slot this spring, he'd run his string of awfulness to two full seasons (notwithstanding this game last October.

But it's not all that hard to remember when Perez was not awful. In 2004, he finished No. 1 in the National League in strikeouts (239) and No. 6 in ERA ( 2.98). With Perez, it's not hard to dream a little, and baseball men do love to dream. (What's more -- though of course it's still quite early -- to this point Perez is pitching something like a dream.)

Chan Ho Park, though? After Park signed a huge, five-year contract following the 2001 season, his ERAs went like this: 5.75, 7.58, 5.46, 5.74, 4.81. That 4.81 came last season with the Padres, who happen to play in the pitcher-friendliest ballpark in the major leagues. His ERA away from that pitcher-friendliest ballpark last season: 5.45. So leaving aside that 7.58 mark in 2003 -- he was hurt that season, and started only seven games in the majors -- Park seems to have established a fairly consistent level of "ability."

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