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January 30, 2009 at 5:39 am ET
Fernando Perez Is Awesome

As teased yesterday, earlier this week I had the pleasure of meeting Devil Rays legend Fernando Perez, who was the special celebrity guest for a standing-room only crowd at 12 Angry Mascots — New York’s only sports-comedy variety talk show.テつ The young Devil Rays superstar was funny as hell, and kindly complimented me on my classic Devil Rays jacket.テつ And I hate to go all Pat Christin on y’all, but peep this photo:

(Photo by Galina Rybatsky -- All Rights Reserved)

Perez was interviewed by hosts Scott Rogowsky of The Onion and Neil Janowitz of ESPN the Magazine, as well as award-winning comedian Greg Johnson.テつ Most enlightening was when Perez gave a behind-the-scenes look into the Red Sox-Devil Rays rivalry, saying that baseball teams routinely share weight rooms and mentioning that in September in Boston Coco Crisp and TMOTMCC James Shields were joking together about their altercation earlier in the season.テつ He also said that David Ortiz would come into the weight room and treat everyone like they were his children.

Perez also said the teammate he was most in awe of playing with was Fernando Valenzuela, who was still pitching at age 49 on the Mexican Winter League team Perez played on in 2007.

Perez seemed totally genuine and lacking any of the usual athlete filter.テつ He talked about how there’s usually a fistfight in the dugout of every team at least once a season.テつ Then he dropped an example that in 2008 while he was in Durham a fight broke out in their dugout while they were winnning 11-0.

He reminisced about hitting his first MLB home run at That Old Dump In The Bronx — it was a line drive that just kept going and surprised him; he joked about running around the bases way too fast.テつ He also said he thought that with steroid use decreasing, speed would be an increasing factor in the game — that was a fun moment for me to shoot Steve Hulkower a look since the Hulkster also made it out, albeit wearing a tattered Sox hat.

Asked for the toughest pitcher he faced, Perez went with Tim Lincecum — who he said looked just like Telly from Kids.テつ Asked for the best hitter besides himself, he went with the very underrated Manny Ramirez.

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4 Responses to “Fernando Perez Is Awesome”
  1. As Chalk well knows, fights break out at the Bugs&Cranks offices once or twice a week.

  2. PTownFan says:

    That jacket is stylin’ Chalk. A couple of years ago I walked up to a fan at the Oakland Coliseum who was wearing a jersey from that era and we had a great chat. Turns out he was Damon Hollins’ little league coach. He and I may have been the only Devil Rays fans in the house that day. My how things have changed.

    Damon’s got to make the top 100 Devil Rays Of All Time doncha think? 31 year old Rookie, Player of the Month honors. All that. Don’t let the 707 down Chalk.

  3. David Chalk David Chalk says:

    Mr. Hollins is indeed in the top 100 PTown

  4. Newt says:

    Which one is Fernando Perez?

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