Anyone who watches baseball knows that closers are their own breed. Many of these guys are weird, and they aren’t afraid to show it. Like many closers before him, Cleveland’s Chris Perez is one of the more animated players in the game. On Thursday night, Alex Rios took exception to that as Perez closed out a 7-5 win over Chicago.
According to MLB.com, Perez got the benefit of a borderline third-strike call to A.J. Pierzynski for the second out of the ninth inning and gave a strong fist pump. He then got Rios to ground into the game’s final out, which led to more celebrating and a heated exchange between him and the White Sox outfielder.
“Well, I don’t know what was wrong with him,” Rios said with a smirk after the game. “He just started yelling for no reason. I don’t know why he started yelling, and that’s it.
“When I hit that ground ball, he was yelling when (Cabrera) was throwing to first. He was yelling the whole way. I couldn’t tell what he was saying. He was just staring and saying something.”
Perez said he was yelling at his teammates because he was happy they came up with a crucial win and that his animation was not directed toward Rios — not that he cares what Rios thinks anyway.
“He’s on a different team,” Perez said. “I’m not friends with him. I don’t know him personally. I’ve just been playing against him. That’s it. If he’s mad, whatever. I don’t care.”
The more it bothers opponents, the happier guys like Perez are with their antics. The best thing Rios can do is pretend it doesn’t affect him.
H/T Hardball Talk
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