What's buzzing:

Big League Stew

Pascual Perez murdered during robbery attempt in Dominican Republic

Big League Stew

View gallery

.

(Getty)

Major League Baseball has lost a talented former pitcher and clown prince who lived an enigmatic and often troubled life. Pascual Perez, an 11-year veteran and an All-Star with the Atlanta Braves in 1983, was murdered at his home in the Dominican Republic during a robbery on Wednesday night.

The initial news was reported by two news outlets in the Dominican Republic and later confirmed by the Associated Press.

Perez, a father of five children whose career was cut short by drugs, along with other erratic and mysterious behavior, was 55 years old.

Some of the reported details of Perez's death are gruesome, but they also have yet to be confirmed. One report says robbers waited for Perez, a terminally-ill liver patient who was receiving dialysis, to receive his $2,000 major-league pension check before surprising him at his home.

Such an unhappy ending to a life that, at times, seemed to be a lot of fun.

A brother to Melido Perez and Carlos Perez, both of whom also had substantial major-league careers, Pascual Perez could follow a 95 mph fastball with a sleepy eephus pitch — just for fun. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 162 pounds, Perez was all arms and legs on the mound with a Jheri curl mullet hairdo on top. His starts were must-see TV in the Superstation TBS days. A teammate of Dale Murphy and Bob Horner on the very good Braves teams of the early 1980s, Perez made an All-Star appearance at Comiskey Park in 1983 but experienced only fleeting success in the majors. He had a 3.44 ERA (better than average for his times) with 822 strikeouts in 193 career starts. He had a drug problem that cost him some jobs and other physical problems with his shoulder and he also had a reputation for ... losing concentration.

During his first season with the Braves in 1982, Perez missed a start in August because, he told manager Joe Torre, he got lost driving to Fulton County Stadium on Atlanta's I-285, an expressway that loops the city. Someone even published a poster commemorating the event.

Perez also pitched with the Pirates, Expos and Yankees. New York had the darnedest luck locating him. In a 1993 New York Times story, reporter Joe Sexton tried to find what was up with Perez, who had walked out on the Yankees two years earlier and had disappeared in the Dominican. Yankees executive Gene Michael concluded that Pascual simply liked to lose himself:

View gallery

.

(Getty)

Santo Domingo is a city of merengue and misery, guns and art, drugs and laughter, innocence and intrigue. Somewhere in it is Perez, reportedly rotating among outposts at four hotels, surfacing at one gambling casino or another, living out his peculiar existence as both celebrity and shadow.

"People have blamed us for not keeping track of Pascual during the off season," Gene Michael, the general manager of the Yankees, said in New York recently. "But shoot, our trainer called him 60 times after the 1991 season. He never answered, never returned a call. He gets down there and doesn't come back. It's a shame. It's a tragedy."

And that's 20 years ago. What happened to Perez since? We're still finding out the details. We already don't like some of the answers.

Already counting down to spring training?
Follow @AnswerDave@bigleaguestew@KevinKaduk on Twitter,
along with the BLS Facebook page!

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
Former catcher Mike Redmond hired as next Marlins manager
Florida youth coaches charged with pee-wee football gambling ring
Y! Finance: Sandy sends gas prices plunging

View Comments (409)
  • Astana's fate not sealed yet, decision expected in two weeks

    Astana's fate not sealed yet, decision expected in two weeks

    By Julien Pretot PARIS (Reuters) - Astana are expecting to learn whether they retain their World Tour (elite) licence in about two weeks, a source within the Kakazh-funded team told Reuters on Monday. Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported that the … More »

    Reuters - 12 minutes ago
  • Cycling-Astana's fate not sealed yet, decision expected in two weeks

    By Julien Pretot PARIS, March 30 (Reuters) - Astana are expecting to learn whether they retain their World Tour (elite) licence in about two weeks, a source within the Kakazh-funded team told Reuters on Monday. Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf … More »

    Reuters - 17 minutes ago
  • Vettel win is a relief for all except Mercedes

    Vettel win is a relief for all except Mercedes

    By John O'Brien SEPANG, Malaysia (Reuters) - An ebullient Sebastian Vettel spoke at length about the importance of his first win for Ferrari when addressing reporters after his Malaysian Grand Prix triumph on Sunday, yet his beaming smile pretty … More »

    Reuters - 20 minutes ago
  • Ecclestone proposes championship for women

    Ecclestone proposes championship for women

    Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has proposed a controversial world championship for women drivers as part of grand prix weekends. "I thought it would be a good idea to give them a showcase," British media quoted the 84-year-old as saying … More »

    Reuters - 38 minutes ago
  • Nadal crashes out in Miami, Murray wins

    Nadal crashes out in Miami, Murray wins

    By Simon Evans MIAMI (Reuters) - A struggling and edgy Rafa Nadal crashed out of the Miami Open in the third round on Sunday, losing 6-4 2-6 6-3 to fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco. The 31-year-old Verdasco, who is ranked 34th in the world, has … More »

    Reuters - 39 minutes ago