The fact that players around the league continue to complain about the antics of Indians closer Chris Perez is not a surprise. The more saves he converts, the more animated Perez is going to be. After saving 36 games for the Indians last year, Perez already has 17 this season. He has blown only one chance. Like many other closers around the league, he isn’t shy about showing emotion when he takes the mound. The Royals — particularly catcher Bryan Pena — are the latest team to get their jock straps tangled up over it.
After striking out Jarrod Dyson for the final out of his save Monday night against Kansas City, Perez waved his hand in front of his face in a “you can’t see me” motion. Dyson admitted it bothered him but said the best thing he could have done was let his bat do the talking. Pena held back a bit less.
“That’s just a sorry guy looking to be loved,” Pena said according to the Kansas City Star. “Nobody pays any attention to him so he has to do stuff like that. You don’t see guys who people know, guys like Mariano Rivera, do that, do you?”
You don’t see Rivera doing it, but Perez certainly didn’t invent fist pumping and going crazy after converting a save. Neither did Jonathan Papelbon, and we’ve all seen how he reacts. Similar to the way he handled himself against the White Sox earlier this season, Perez let the complaining go in one ear and out the other.
“I really don’t care,” he said. “The way I look at it is, every time I pitch, they’re trying to get me. And if they’re not, it’s on them. They should try to get me every time. If (Dyson) took offense to it — oh, well. It happened. It’s the same as if a hitter hits a home run, and he comes back to the dugout and does all the hand-slapping stuff (with teammates).”
The more opponents complain about it, the more Perez is going to do it. The only way to stop it is to score runs off of him. Clearly he is not concerned with what winning with class means.
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