“I guess some people really don’t understand,” Luis Perez shrugged. “How could anyone get upset about a baseball player trying to win a game?
Perez – like so many people in New York – comes from another world.
“Sometimes it seems like everything has been turned upside down,” he said. “People are nice on the ball field and mean off it. Some of the people criticizing A-Rod for distracting a fielder would swindle me out of my pension or evict me from my home to make a buck.”
Perez has coached baseball in New York for more than 40 years. “Once I had a mother ask: ‘Why don’t you just let the boys run around and have fun?’ I told her, ‘My job is to teach them how to play baseball. Playing well and winning are fun.’ She wasn’t happy.
“If I was a chess teacher, would it be okay to let the kids throw the pieces around if they thought that was fun? Baseball takes skill and work and thought. When you put that all together you get a great player like A-Rod.”
Alex Rodriguez also comes from another world.
“The things A-Rod does on the field, especially the little things, come from playing and playing and playing,” Perez said. “Not as many kids do that anymore. Too many of them have fancy uniforms, but only play a few times a week.
“It’s fun to watch A-Rod and Jeter and Posada and Cano because I know they’ll find a way to win,” Perez went on. “A-Rod used something on Wednesday that he probably learned on some old field when he was 12 years old.
“How could anyone not love that?”