Jake Takes on Fernando Perez, Rays Minor Leaguer and Future Governor?

Jake: For Rays fans who aren't familiar with you, who is Fernando Perez?

Fernando: So far im number 69.  Maybe this year i'll get a smaller number in Spring Training.  I'm 24 and have played centerfield in the minor leagues for the Rays since i signed in 2004.

JL: Early on in your minor league days, were you and teammates shacked up in hotels or were you given host families? How is that experience as a
ballplayer, living in another families house?

FP: I had a great host family in Short Season in 04--The Melody's. They were great hosts and were great fans. For the most part we live in
Apartments now.

JL: Late in the season, an upsurge in power seemed to come from your bat? Are you trying to become more of a power/speed combo or do you always have the HR cut in your back pocket and just needs the right "meatball" pitch to come out?

FP: Meatballs are harder and harder to come by these days--there's a lot of talent in the minor leagues. I didn't hit for much power last year because it was the first year i had ever hit left handed. It's like playing an instrument, or learning a language, it takes awhile.    I wasn't trying to do anything different this year it just happened that way.

JL: Out of the teams that you've played on, what team did you like best?

FP: Has to be this past season. We won a championship, and played in a packed stadium of great fans at home.

JL: Reading your player journal and reading quotes from you, you seem to be a "student of the game" type of player. Do you ever consider becoming a coach/manager after your playing career is over?

FP: I'm trying to be--it hasn't been too long that ive been playing enough high level baseball to appreciate the importance of the little nuances
of the game-- It's really impressive how much some of the young players I'veve played with know about baseball, players on your team end
up helping you out alot so long as you're receptive to it. They too see every at bat, I've learned alot sitting around and talking about
baseball.

JL: When you first signed, what was your biggest splurge that you spent your bonus money with?

FP: I bought a used car. I was a little overmatched in short season, figured I might want to hold on to some cash!

JL: Rays fans who aren't familiar with you wouldn't know that you graduated from an Ivy League school. How was that experience and what did you major in?

FP: Studying in New York City was amazing. I studied american culture and creative writing.

JL: If you weren't playing baseball right now, what would you be doing?

FP: Tough to say.  Maybe in school.

JL: Is there any book that you're reading right now? You seem to be a person that is always willing to learn or reading.  

FP: I'm reading some stories by Jorge Luis Borges.    I

JL: Favorite Book/Movie/Music Album of all-time?

FP: Steppenwolf- Herman Hesse
Bamboozled- Spike Lee
MF Doom-Vaudeville Villain

JL: Do you have any plans on furthering your schooling? Masters Degree/Doctorate/Ph.D.?

FP: Yes, but not for a long, long, time I hope.  So far i'd like to study linguistics.

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