Surprise Trade Transforms Fernando Perez from Cubs Convention Attendant to Cubs Convention Disappointment
January 8, 2011
(Chicago, IL) – Today the Chicago Cubs staked their claim on the 2011 season by pulling the trigger on a long-rumored trade for Tampa Bay fireballer Matt Garza. While the Cubs paid a steep price in prospects for Garza, his presence dramatically improves the Cubs’ rotation in the face of stiffened competition in the NL Central.
Garza wasn’t the only player the Cubs netted from the Rays. The team also added lefty pitching prospect Zach Rosscup and outfielder Fernando Perez. Perez, 27, is no longer considered much of a prospect, but teammates rave about his spirit and positive attitude.
And best of all? It turns out Perez is a huge Cubs fan.
“Oh man, I’ve been a Cubs fan for years,” Perez said, peering from behind a giant, blue foam finger. “How do I put it? I’ve played for the Rays. When you play for the Rays, you’ve just got to have a top-of-the-line club to be a fan of, you know? A real winner to fall back on.”
“But when I was 13, a man in a Yankee hat gave me a massage that lasted just a little too long, so I ended up just rooting for the Cubs.”
The timing of the trade has had a fortuitous twist for Perez, who says he had passes to attend next week’s Cubs Convention, but now gets to attend as a player.
“I was looking forward to meeting my heroes Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster, but now, people are going to be looking forward to meeting me!” Perez exclaimed before being rebuffed in an attempt to give a passerby an autograph.
“One minute, I was going to be the guy bitching about the Cubs giving up way too much to get Matt Garza, and the next, I’m going to be the guy folks point to when they say ‘that’s the guy who put the Garza trade over the top.’ Believe me, fellow Cub fans, I wasn’t on board with moving Chris Archer and Hak-Ju Lee until I heard the Cubs were getting me thrown in. I look forward to discussing this with you next week.”
[Ed. - Oh my, this has gone... poorly. If you're here because of Fernando Perez's thorough and not altogether incorrect fisking of this article, I would encourage you to read my mea culpa at Bleacher Nation: New Cub Fernando Perez is Not Happy with Me, and He's Probably Right. The short version? Sorry to Fernando and the readers for what was, ultimately, a crappy and unfunny article.
UPDATE: Fernando says there's no hard feelings, which I appreciate. His counter-apology is unnecessary, but accepted.
I think he's still got the wrong impression of me - both as a person and a writer - but (cliche alert) we only get one chance to make a first impression. I bombed mine with Fernando, and probably quite a few prospective readers. All I can do is try harder next time. And spell "heroes" correctly.]