If only Fernando Perez was a better ball player. Then again, if he was, it might be unfair to the rest of the men in the world. He’s — forgive the fawning — an excellent renaissance man even without good baseball results at the time being.
Mr. Perez has a Twitter feed. As you can see from above, he doesn’t use it in a manner befitting a man trying to scratch his way to the major leagues. Gil-Scott Herron references, film critiques, political mini-discussions and photos, photos, photos. This man has some culture.
He also has a tumbler feed named outfielding. And a quick look at that feed shows that once again, Perez stretches himself to find meaning on an hourly basis. How about a melancholic post card posted at midnight? Or an exuberant picture of a young Elton John cavorting with Diana Ross and Cher? Martha Stewart drinking a 40? Clearly this is a man that thinks of a great many things when he’s ‘outfielding.’
But it is not enough to merely have these tools and exercise them separately. To really prove your mettle as a renaissance man, you have to make links between all these disparate parts of your personality in order to further our collective search for meaning.
Well, sometime this June, Perez did just that. In a post titled “O.P.P I can’t explain it,” Perez links snark superstars pitchforkreviewsreviews, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the search for voice in his writing, life on the Iowa Cubs, a polemic on the nickname for his minor league team, witty repartee, funny vignettes about teammates, Gil-Scott Herron again, fan interaction, twitter, the player he was traded for, Chartreuse, and Morrisey. It’s truly a great feat of stream-of-consciousness, and it produce two high points that prove that this outfielder is much more than the sum of the stats on the back of his baseball card. The first is this amazing sentence:
I’m thinking about that movie about the parody song musician in LA and the horrible rumor passed like an STD that each dirty lover sort of perversely enjoyed believing, that he was an anti-semite, but netflix is down so I can’t link it or recall the name, and I’m thinking it’s baffling to follow someone only to inspect their footsteps, and I’m thinking of when Ebert said that his tweets were a buffet and that if you don’t like them you should dine elsewhere and leave him alone, but he said it more poetically although i’m sure there was a dining reference, and being a baseball player on twitter sometimes reminds me of McCartheyism, which is enraging because yesterday on twitter I had a conversation with so many strangers about Morrissey and autograph seekers and Elijah Dukes and yesterday It felt like twitter was fortifying and warm and today It feels like Sea World but I am Shamu jumping through rings and clapping with fins that don’t meet.
And then, well, then there’s the next sentence, the final sentence of the piece:
And nobody told me to always try to dismount after a weird metaphor so nobody thinks too highly of you, but next time I’ll say Johnny told me that and I’m still so angry so I’m asking my spiritual advisor who is really department manager at a whole foods market how to let go of things that are useless and she says “breathe”, and that always works but my persistence to brood and rehash and become full of more useless grief and annoyance is making me feel annoyed and broken and inefficient, but then there’s expository writing and the Stars of the Lid and Their Refinement of the Decline and a text back from Johnny suggesting the name of our band should be “Granny Ramirez and the Performance Enhancing Hugs.”
I imagine Fernando Perez dropping the mic after this because a) it’s too cold and b) he might have broken the internets.
Thanks to Erik Hahmann for the heads up.
With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.