Fernando Perez injured his wrist while diving for a ball during spring training. Lucky for us, he can apparently still type while wearing a cast. He will be writing a regular column for a New York Times blog, “Bats.” In his first installment, he chronicles why he became a professional baseball player and what it was like being a Rays minor leaguer during the team’s improbable run last year.
It’s natural for Triple-A players to not mind a whole lot if their major league club struggles, because that validates their sense of superiority to players in the big leagues. But we were all so caught up in the Rays phenomenon that selfishness dissolved. Sure, we shared some of the same skepticism as the pundits who expected Tampa to collapse at every juncture. But they just kept winning – 70 games, then 80 and more. By the time I got called up on August 31, I was merely crashing the party.
We have long been miffed about the media’s obsession with the fact that Perez went to Columbia University. And we have openly hoped that their obsession is not due to Perez being an African-American with a Hispanic surname. But none of that was designed to belittle any of Perez’ accomplishments which we very much admire. We have read Perez’ work in the past, and it is well worth your time.
Fernando Perez: Rays Fandom, Up Close [New York Times]