(if holding a ball qualifies as “baseball activity”, you can bet Carlos Beltran’s not doing it)

Hours before the Mets managed to squander 7 shutout innings from the criminally unsupported Johan Santana, the Bergen Record’s Bob Klapisch weighed in on the stalemate between Oliver Perez and his employers, opining the dispute has roots in the club’s reaction to chronically disabled OF Carlos Beltran’s recent knee surgery.

The intransigence is Scott Boras™ payback for Jeff Wilpon™s off-season feud with Carlos Beltran. If you don™t think the two subplots are connected, then you haven™t figured out that Boras never forgets an insult. The grudge he holds against Wilpon for publicly questioning Beltran™s decision to have knee surgery in January is a serious one. Now Boras is making the Mets take their medicine by exercising Perez™s right to refuse a minor league assignment.

The Mets are too stubborn to admit their mistake “ they can™t bring themselves to pay Perez for a $20 million vacation. But should Wilpon sack around the clubhouse, maybe he™d realize Perez™s standoff is having a corrosive effect on the players. The result is a .500 season that™s going nowhere.

That™s not to say releasing Perez will turn the Mets into contenders. But it™s like driving around with a corpse in the trunk. Sometimes, getting rid of the stench is all that matters.