A Handy Chris Perez Controversy Guide

It's not you, Chris, it's us.


It would be a boring season indeed if Chris Perez wasn't on this club. He's been an excellent pitcher, but he's gotten more local and national publicity by things done outside the lines as inside.

Perez has always answered honestly when asked a question; this has gone back to when he started with the Indians in 2009. But this season . But give him credit: just about everyone has been a target of his ire.

So since it's getting difficult to track all the controversies Perez has gotten himself into, here's a handy guide:

1) Comments #1 - Attendance/Free Agency 5-20-2012

"They booed me against the Mariners when I had two guys on," Perez said. "It feels like I can't even give up a baserunner without people booing me. It's even worse when there's only 5,000 in the stands, because then you can hear it. It [ticks] me off.

"I got two guys on," he added later. "Yeah, my release point was all over the place, but really? I've got two guys on. They haven't even scored yet and you're booing me? You're saying, 'Get this bum off the mound.' Come on."

See here for the LGT post on this subject.

2) "You Can't See Me" - 5-28-2012

The animated Perez angered Kansas City's Jarrod Dyson for a gesture he made after striking out the Royals outfielder in the ninth inning of Cleveland's 8-5 win on Monday.

After fanning Dyson on three pitches, Perez walked off the mound and waved his hand in front of his face to mock Dyson, who was unaware of the gesture until seeing it later on videotape.

See here for the LGT post on this subject.

3) Comments #2 - LeBron, Browns - 6-25-2012

Perez has expressed frustration with that, and did so again Monday. He said fans seemed to care more about rooting against LeBron James and the Miami Heat than they do about rooting for the Indians.

"I don’t get the psyche," said Perez, who grew up in Florida. "Why cheer against a guy that’s not even in your city anymore? Just to see him fail? Does that make you feel good? I could see if the Cavs were in the championship, but that’s their mentality.

[snip]

"That’s what I don’t understand," Perez said. "Their whole thing is, ‘We want a winner.’ Well, why do you support the Browns? They don’t win. They’ve never won. They left. You guys blindly support them. I don’t understand it. It’s a double standard, and I don’t know why.

See here for the LGT post on the subject.

4) The Oakland Heckler (NSFW) - 8-20-2012

Fan: "Blow some more saves, bro. Blow some more saves. Both of you. You and guy ... blow some more saves."

Perez: "I got more saves than your whole [bleeping] team does, so why don't you go look at those stats, you [bleeper]"

Fan: "Oh, what's the standings? Oh, we're ahead of you."

Perez: "I don't give a [bleep]. I don't give a [bleep]."

See here for the LGT post on the subject

5) Comments #3 - Front Office - 9-5-2012

"Different owners," Perez said frankly, in reference to Detroit’s Mike Ilitch and Cleveland’s Lawrence J. Dolan. "It comes down to that. They (the Tigers) are spending money. He (Ilitch) wants to win. Even when the economy was down (in Detroit), he spent money. He’s got a team to show for it. You get what you pay for in baseball. Sometimes you don’t. But most of the time you do."

"You can’t miss," Perez said. "You have to be right. That’s why I say it’s not just ownership. They don’t make the trades. It’s the GMs. It goes hand in hand. The GMs can only spend the money the owners give them, but they pick who they spend it on or who they don’t. They pick. The owners don’t pick.

"Josh Willingham would look great in this lineup. They didn’t want to (pony) up for that last year. … That’s the decision they make, and this is the bed we’re laying in."

See here for the LGT post on the subject.

I expect to be updating this with future controversies, so I'll bump this as needed. See below for my thoughts...

So by my calculations, Perez has ticked off just about every sports constituency in Cleveland, including Indians fans, Cavs fans, Browns fans, the Dolans, and the Indians front office. I don't think this is a conscious effort for Perez to get the Indians to trade him; I just think that he has no filter between his brain and his mouth. Though thanks to these latest comments, whatever reservations the Indians may have had in trading him this winter have probably been removed.

There's long been a baseball reason to deal Perez: he's going to get a big bump in salary next season thanks to arbitration's love of saves, and the bullpen is one area on the club that the Indians have some depth in. With two years of control left, Perez is going to be an attractive option to clubs that lose out in free agency or would rather not pay market price for a free agent. Even with everybody now knowing what type of um...personality they'll be getting, the Indians should be able to get a decent return.

To me the big issue is what to do with Perez in the meantime. To this point the Indians haven't punished Perez for any of his antics, but I think if the Indians don't punish Perez, they're just encouraging him to spout off further. He's not going to stop, so doing nothing is not an option. I'd give Perez the Carlos Zambrano treatment: suspend him for the rest of the season, and start listening to trade offers the day after the World Series.

Chris Perez has become a distraction. If he remains on this club, he's just going to remain a distraction, and the Indians have enough problems to deal with after the season to have to deal with a continuing problem the rest of the season.

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