Perez says Dodgers treating him 'like trash'

Updated: July 14, 2006, 10:35 AM ET
Associated Press

Odalis Perez

ST. LOUIS -- Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Odalis Perez, who surrendered a game-winning home run to the Cardinals' Albert Pujols in the 14th inning on Thursday night, accused his team of treating him like "trash."

The left-hander is in the second year of a three-year, $24 million contract and in his fifth season with the Dodgers. He's been banished to the bullpen except for one start since mid-May, has been used only twice since June 28 and is 4-4 with a 6.79 earned-run average.

"I don't know why I'm in this situation," Perez said. "I've been here for the last five years and I've never been in a situation like this.

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"If I've done something wrong, let me know, tell me. I want to know. I've been treated like trash."

Perez won 15 games in 2002 and 12 in '03, but was 7-8 in an injury-plagued 2005. He said he just needs to pitch more to escape his funk.

Manager Grady Little said Perez was in the game on Thursday "pretty much" because he was out of options. He was the fifth reliever used by the Dodgers.

"What did I do to these people?" Perez said. "I've cried a lot of times about what I did wrong to these people.

"Why have I been treated like that? I want an answer, I want the truth, I want to talk to somebody."

Perez said he had not requested a trade, saying "I don't make those decisions." But he said he planned to talk to Little.

"If a team gets me, I need to pitch more," he said. "Without my confidence it's not the same no more.

"For me to be in this situation it's very hard, it's very painful."

But he also said he didn't want to leave the Dodgers.

"I want to be better for this team, I want to be on this team," Perez said. "I'm a very grown man. If I'm at this level it's because I can pitch at this level.

"I don't want to see people ignoring me, I'm too good for that."

Pujols increased the pain. He's 10-for-15 with five homers against Perez, and Perez said Pujols hit ball four on a full count over the left-field wall.

"It's part of the game," Pujols said. "I guess I swing real good against him and I don't try to do too much."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press