Wagner criticizes Perez on radio show [Billy’s Big Mouth]

We all knew that Billy wouldn’t be able to keep his mouth shut for very long on his weekly segment on 1050 ESPN Radio. Yesterday, he unloaded on Oliver Perez. “You’ve got to have that willpower to go back out there and fight,” Wagner said. “Perez has got to honestly step up and realize that we’ve just used every guy in our bullpen the night before. He can’t come out there and decide that gee, he hasn’t got it today, and so be it.

There are two sides to this. For one, I agree with Billy about Oli’s performance yesterday. We all know that once Oli gets into trouble he loses it mentally and breaks down on the mound. I said in my pregame report yesterday that Oli needed to go 6 innings to take the stress off of the pen. 1.2 is not getting the job done by any means. Without these mental lapses, Perez is a great pitcher. I don’t know what the Jacket needs to do to fix this, but something has to be done–we can’t have these breakdowns every 5th start.

But as frustrating as this is, Billy should not have said this on the radio. As a leader in the clubhouse, your job is to support your teammates, not vocally criticize them on air. Maybe this isn’t a surprise, since Billy has always been known to think out loud, but it’s disappointing and classless.

-Jonathan Kraft

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