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Baseball still inspires Beantown rocker12/15/2008 1:03 PM ET
By Doug Miller / MLB.com
When the Boston Red Sox were in the midst of their historic and improbable run to the 2004 World Series championship, the club's first title since 1918, indie rocker Joe Pernice couldn't help but get in on the fun.
Pernice, who fronts the acclaimed band the Pernice Brothers, has released solo albums and an album with the band Chappaquiddick Skyline. A lot of the material he writes has to do with his Massachusetts upbringing.
So, it came as no surprise when Pernice and his Pernice Brothers bandmate Jose Ayerve wrote and released the single "Pega Luna Manny" in honor of then-Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez during that magical summer.
"No matter what team he's on now, he's a genius with the bat, and there's no doubt about it," Pernice says. "I've never seen anything like it. So it was a fun song to do, and I'd like to think that it had something to do with them winning it.
"In fact, I'll just go ahead and say I'm the sole reason."
All kidding aside, Pernice has been enjoying himself in music and beyond.
The Pernice Brothers have in the works another album to follow up 2006's Live a Little. In the meantime, Pernice is working on another solo album and has just written his second book.
His first foray into literature, a semi-autobiographical fictional novella based around the Smiths' legendary Meat is Murder album for Continuum Publishing's 33 1/3 series, garnered him notice as a master of prose, leading Penguin imprint Riverhead Books to agree to publish a follow-up.
The second book will be called "It Feels So Good When I Stop" and is scheduled to come out in 2009. Pernice's next solo album will be a soundtrack of cover songs that appear within the chapters of the novel.
If you think Pernice hasn't had a chance to keep up with baseball while working as much as he has, think again.
He listens to games on the radio and has been showing his 2-year-old son, Sammy, what it's like to watch games on television.
"It's one of the only things I let him watch," Pernice says. "But he loves Dice-K."
And since Pernice now lives in Toronto, he's a fixture at Rogers Centre when the Red Sox play the Blue Jays.
"Every Sox game up here is a good day to see the Red Sox and get really good seats," Pernice says. "I also like to just go sometimes and watch Roy Halladay pitch. Of course, when the Jays play the Yankees, my buddies and I always say it's a shame that someone has to win."
Although Pernice has been a baseball fan ever since he was a kid growing up 15 miles south of Boston in the town of Holbrook, Mass., he has no love for the game as a player.
"I only really played into my teen years, and I never really enjoyed it because it's an easy game to be really bad at," he says. "I didn't have a grasp on the stats or the idiosyncratic or inside things about baseball."
He has learned a lot about the National Pastime as he's grown older, however, and now considers himself as much of a fan as anyone.
"Regardless of the team you're watching, you're going to see something you've never seen before every game and every season," Pernice says. "Like the game with Johnny Damon where two balls rolled on the wall in the same game. Plus, I never get tired of the four-out inning.
"It's such a strategy game and then it comes down to luck. It never ceases to amaze me."
Pernice admits that his drummer, Patrick Berkery, is an even bigger baseball fan with a greater knowledge of baseball history than Pernice.
"Plus he's a Phillies fan," Pernice says. "So he's got that on me now, too."
So while Fenway Park and Rogers Centre remain dark over the winter, Pernice says he'll look forward to spring.
"I can't wait for the World Baseball Classic in March," he says. "That'll be great.
"And then April and Opening Day. I'll go into the park, and it's like a light's turned on inside me. Everything just gets more vibrant."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.