We just got back in town and discovered a couple of notable late-season transactions for the Durham Bulls and its parent club, the remarkable, pennant-charging Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
First, center fielder Fernando Perez, a favorite here at the Indy, was recalled to Tampa Bay Aug. 31. Perez is the fastest player in the Devil Rays organization and frequently found his way on base via drag-bunting. He's also a Brian Eno fan and possibly the best baseball player to come out of Columbia University since Lou Gehrig. He was featured in our June fashion spread, which focused on area athletes. He'll bring his extreme speed to a Tampa Bay club that has the best record in baseball. Look for him to appear as a pinch-runner and late-inning defensive replacement. Perez leaves Durham with 43 stolen bases and a .288 batting average. He also led the team in strikeouts, with 156.
And, in this, the 20th anniversary of the film Bull Durham, the team had its own veteran catcher, 39-year-old Mike DeFelice. DeFelice was released by the Bulls Sept. 1. Not long ago, the News and Observer profiled DeFelice and discovered there's one thing he doesn't like to talk about.
Also on Sept. 1, catcher John Jaso was also recalled to Tampa after appearing in 31 games for the Bulls.