O Perez! My Perez!

Odalis and Oliver are confusing enough. Oneli's struggles in the minors save us more trouble.

Published June 13, 2008 8:00PM (EDT)

The Cleveland Indians have designated minor-league pitcher Oneli Perez for assignment, and while that might not mean much to you, it comes not a moment too soon for me.

I've been trying all year -- in fact, I've been trying for several years -- and I still can't get pitcher Odalis Perez and pitcher Oliver Perez straight in my mind. I just don't need another O. Perez hanging around.

I mean, I know who Oliver Perez and Odalis Perez are. They're both inconsistent lefties. One pitches for the New York Mets, the other for the Washington Nationals. I recognize them on sight. I just can never remember which one is Oliver and which one is Odalis.

With Oneli Perez out of the picture -- the Indians have 10 days to trade him, put him on waivers or release him -- I can go back to trying to figure that out while also trying to sort out Kansas City Royals shortstop Tony Pena and Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Tony Pena. Who, by the way, share an apartment with Odalis and Oliver Perez in Kansas City, Kan.

According to Baseball-Reference.com, there are more players in the big leagues right now named Tony Pena than there were players known as John Smith in the entire 20th century. There was one of those -- John Smith, he was called -- and he played four games in 1931.

How about that: In the entire 20th century, there were four big-league games in which a guy known as John Smith played, but 218 in which a guy called Orval Overall played. Bet you could have won a bar bet on that one in 1900.

By King Kaufman

King Kaufman is a senior writer for Salon. You can e-mail him at king at salon dot com. Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr

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