Pascual prowls the mound like a restless hyena. Every pitch is accompanied by a flurry of gestures, grimaces and moans. “He looks like he’s pitching at the end of a rubber band,” says Joe Torre, who managed Pascual from 1982 to ’84 with the Atlanta Braves.
Pascual wears enough gold to buy Trinidad and Tobago and flashes the sly half smile of a kid in a pet store who has just set all the puppies free. But he can also be mercurial—bored one moment, expansive the next. “Anybody know nothing about Pascual,” says his old friend Felix Becena. “He’s inpredictable.”
After nearly being decapitated by a line drive last August at Wrigley Field, Mr. Inpredictability threw a pitch into the Cubs dugout. “I don’t do nothing in particular on purpose,” he said afterward. Yet two weeks later, while batting against the Dodgers, he purposely ignored three straight bunt signs and struck out swinging. “I was rockin’ and rollin’,” he explained.
Awful news this morning about former Brave, Expo and Yankee jheri-curl hero Pascual Perez, one of the most entertaining baseball players I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch. With a flamboyant windup and demeanor, and a propensity for throwing eephus pitches and attempting pickoffs between his legs, Perez was easily among the non-Mets most frequently imitated in Wiffleball games among my friends when we were kids.