As Adam has written, MLB is providing a new statistics-enhanced broadcast. We at DRB are very excited about this (even if we have to follow the weekend Yankees-Red Sox series to see it – may all games go 20 innings and wear out both their pitching staffs) for two reasons. First, we appreciate the opportunity to see more advanced statistics woven into the in-game analysis. Second, we are so excited to be reunited with former Ray Fernando Perez.
Adam's 2015 classic player profile provides great detail on Perez's all too brief major league career. A 7th round pick out of that well known sports powerhouse, Columbia University, he contributed to the Rays magical 2008 World Series run, but lost the next season to injury and never came close to the majors after that.
So why are we (OK, maybe just me) so psyched to get reacquainted with Nando? Because he’s smart, insightful, and funny. "Articulate" is often used as a slightly condescending way to describe those rare baseball players who speak in full sentences, and would be faint praise indeed for this American Studies/Creative writing major.
In honor of his new gig on MLB network, here are some examples of his work.
- Even as a minor leaguer he blogged for MLB.
- While he was on the DL in 2009, he blogged for the New York Times "Bats" baseball blog. I'm not sure why he didn't continue writing beyond May, but his three posts are a really good read, including his thoughts on choosing walk-up music (he went with Curtis Mayfield's "Move On Up" while in Durham waiting for a call up). His description of Pat Burrell's World Series ring makes it sound so garish I'm almost glad the Rays had to settle for a mere pennant.
- Here's Fernando, writing from his winter ball assignment, discussing the connections between baseball and poetry.
- He and Gabe Kapler once interviewed each other for Baseball Prospectus, but the link to that recorder seems to have vanished.
- Classic Fernando can be found in this video -- it's really funny. I love the idea of him selling Williamsburg real estate to make ends meet in the off season. Even funnier were some of the comments from viewers who did not realize it was satire: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQjt0Xzb5F8
In a recent interview he discusses his transition to baseball analyst.
Perez offers a unique perspective on baseball, and I am looking forward to these broadcasts.