Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Juan Perez & the Oscar Taveras Link

We all learned late Sunday evening that St. Louis Cardinals centerfielder Oscar Taveras died in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic and it sent shockwaves throughout Major League Baseball. I found it interesting reading USA Today yesterday morning about the Juan Perez and Taveras link and how Perez may have used the news to get the biggest hit of his career.

Set the stage, it’s the fifth inning and the Giants hitting coach Hensley Meulens went into the clubhouse to find Perez crying. Perez was a friend and former teammate of Taveras in the Dominican Winter League and was so upset by the news he threw his phone away when the news was confirmed. Three innings later Perez used this emotion to get a two run double off the untouchable Wade Davis en route to a 5-0 victory for San Francisco.

Perez was noticeably upset and overwhelmed by the news when speaking to reporters after the game and was quoted as saying: 

"I put it out of my mind. By the time I was in the game, I put it away,'' he said, stopping to compose himself. "You never know what may happen. That young man was here two weeks ago and now he has just died in an accident. It's so sad. I still can't believe it happened.''

Perez batted just .170 in 100 at bats this season and had just one hit in 18 at bats with runners in scoring position this season and came up against a Royals pitcher in Davis that had been virtually untouchable this offseason making the deep double even more unlikely. Perez dedicated that double to Taveras as he posted a picture of himself and Taveras giving a high-10 during an Aguilas game with the English and Spanish caption “that double was for you, my brother! My soul misses you. Go with God. I love you. My condolences to the Tavares family.”

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)