Chris Perez continues to be, um, colorful, gets into profane exchange with a fan

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Chris Perez has seen his fair share of controversy this year. He’s challenged the fan base. He has gesticulated and emoted in ways that have really pissed off the opposition. He got all Internet Tough Guy and tweeted about how he’s gonna plunk Royals hitters.  He, inexplicably, went to war with the beloved Kenny Lofton.

But — and I am only linking, not describing, because it’s a bit NSFW for us — Deadspin explains that he’s now getting into the kind of thing that could lead to a suspension.  Just ask Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell. And yes the fan was being a jerk too, but the player has to not take that kind of bait and certainly not get into profane exchanges with fans. Bad, bad form in my view.

But even if Perez doesn’t get in trouble over this, it’s bad news for him.  Because it’s not like we haven’t seen this story a million times. A high-energy, colorful in-your-face relief pitcher wears on people’s nerves, though generally gets ignored and gets eye-rolls when he’s saving all of the games. The second that fastball goes away, however, he becomes just another bullpen arm. That attitude wears thin, and his life expectancy in the game is way shorter than your average, workaday reliever.

But hey, if Perez wants the Kenny Powers career path, that’s his prerogative.

Must-Click Link: “Skunk in the Outfield”

Associated Press
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Sam Miller of ESPN has an amazingly fantastic story today. It’s about a high school tournament baseball game in Rhode Island in 2006. It’s not your typical game story or oral history or look-to-the-past-to-see-the-future kind of thing. The only nod to such conventionality is mention of the fact that former Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland played in the game. That’s mostly a footnote.

No, the article is about a trick play — “skunk in the outfield” — concocted by one of the coaches. About how it played out and what went into it before, during and after it happened. Along the way Miller talks about the nature of trick plays and offers a good three dozen amazing insights into the psychology of young baseball players and the strategy of baseball as it unfolds in real time.

Each of these observations could anchor its own story but here they form a grand mosaic. And that’s only mild hyperbole, if in fact it’s hyperbole at all. Indeed, most treatments of such a play would be some video clip with a “wow, look what happened here!” sort of couching. Miller gives a more than ten-year-old trick play an epic treatment that is every bit as enlightening as it is entertaining.

Set some time aside to read this today.

Rubby De La Rosa to undergo a second Tommy John Surgery

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This is unfortunate: Diamondbacks reliever Rubby De La Rosa will undergo Tommy John surgery. This will be the second Tommy John procedure of his career, the first coming back in 2011.

De La Rosa has had elbow  issues for his entire career. Last year his UCL was barking again and he underwent stem cell therapy to try to avoid a second surgery, but it obviously hasn’t worked out. He’s pitched in only nine games this year, allowing four earned runs in seven and two-thirds innings, striking out 12.

I first saw De La Rosa in spring training in 2011. I thought his stuff was pretty phenomenal and figured he’d be a good one. Great stuff is often a function of heavy strain on an elbow, however, and pitchers breaking is, unfortunately, the rule in baseball far more than the exception.

He’ll miss a year at least. We likely won’t see him until spring of 2019, most likely on a minor league deal.